GALLERY: Thunderbirds dominate Crunch


SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – The Soo Thunderbirds scored early and often as they went on to crush the Cochrane Crunch 15-1 Saturday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League blowout at John Rhodes Community Centre.

The Thunderbirds were all business offensively in the opening 20 minutes, outscoring the Crunch by a 5-1 count.

Jackson Truchan began the outburst 70 seconds in as he steered in Brodie McConnell-Barker’s low attempt towards the net.

Cochrane countered quickly though as Tucker McConnell-Fritz collected his first NOJHL tally with a knuckling puck that went off the post and in past Sault Ste. Marie starter Kolton Bourret.

It was all T-Birds after that though and they connected four times in just over a seven-minute span to take early control of the contest.

Wyatt Marlow put the Soo back in front for good at 6:11 as he buried one from the top of the left circle.

The home side then tacked on another seconds later with Brock Santa Maria connecting from a sharp angle on Crunch goalkeeper Jake Dubinsky.

Continuing their outburst midway through the first, Marlow notched another after joining the rush in transition before taking a Daniel Beaupre pass and sending it past Dubinsky from the left wing.

They then saw Justin Mauro slam in a one-timer off a Kaden Dundas feed to make it 5-1 after one.

It was more for the Thunderbirds in the second stanza as Dharan Cap stuffed one in after having a couple of cracks at it from in close.

The onslaught continued for the Soo with Anton Petrovskiy putting one on from along the goal line to the right of the net while Michael Chaffay was allowed to cruise into the slot and lift in a backhand from the slot to extend the cushion to seven.

A ninth on the night saw Alex Remenda finish off a goal-mouth scramble late in the period during a Thunderbirds’ power play.

Continuing to pour it on in the third, the Thunderbirds got markers from Marlow, Santa Maria, Callum McAuley, James Kearney, Samuel Lake, and Ethan Novello to finish off the one-sided romp.

The easy victory sees the Thunderbirds improve to 32-12-3-2 while the Crunch dropped to 6-38-1-1.