GALLERY: Thunderbirds cruise past Cubs

Game Photos: Sudbury Light Event Photography

SUDBURY, Ont. – Alfred Rotiroti had three goals Thursday, for his first Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League hat trick, as part of  convincing 6-2 win by the Soo Thunderbirds over the Greater Sudbury Cubs in a match-up held at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.

An early power play helped the Thunderbirds score early with Rotiroti connecting at 2:52 as he spun and fired a low shot from the right circle that beat Cubs’ starter Joel Rainville.

Sault Ste. Marie added another before the opening frame was complete thanks to Cole Delarosbil at 15:04, who was credited with being the last Soo skater to touch the puck that laid on the goal line and was inadvertently put in by a Greater Sudbury defender.

The visitors then broke the game open on the middle stanza with a four-goal outburst in just over a 10-minute span.

Andrew Gibson, who assisted on the Delarosbil effort, picked up his 12th of the season, which leads all NOJHL defencemen, at 6:52 when he ripped one off the cross bar and in from the slot.

It was more from the Thunderbirds as Colby Arbour was allowed to go in on Rainville untouched and made a nice deke to his left before tucking his chance past the outstretched pad of the netminder and in.

Not done there, Rotiroti scored twice a few minutes apart to add to the onslaught.

His second goal of the game saw him display some wizardry as he cut through two Sudbury players and bury one from between the hash marks.

He then completed his hat trick via a Soo man advantage as Rotiroti was left unmarked and finished off a Youssef Chaouachi feed from close range.

The Cubs did get on the board on the next shift with Jaxon Bedard picking up a point in a fourth straight outing as he came across the blueline the snapped a shot over the blocker of Thunderbirds’ netminder Noah Metivier.

Another by Greater Sudbury, midway through the third, wrapped things up offensively on a Cole Crowder effort that was set-up by some hard work by Pineshish Whiteduck.

The Soo’s Metivier made 21 saves to record the win.

Rainville suffered the loss, allowing four against on 12 chances while Sasha Gaumond, playing nearly 28 minutes of relief handled eight of 10 that he saw.