ESPANOLA, Ont. – Picking up goals in each period helped the Soo Thunderbirds skate to a 4-1 win over the Espanola Express Sunday afternoon in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at the Regional Recreation Complex.
The high-flying Thunderbirds kicked off the day’s scoring seven minutes into the proceedings with Cole Delarosbil converting as he banged in a rebound off a loose puck that Espanola starter Matthew Loney could not control.
Sault Ste. Marie went up by a pair before the first intermission as Mason Chitaroni collected his initial NOJHL tally by snagging a clearing attempt then ripping one into the top right-hand corner.
Play in the second stanza saw the Soo tack on another at 7:48 when Russell Oldham banked one in from behind the net for his third goal of the season.
From there, the Thunderbirds held firm defensively the rest of the frame as they carried a 3-0 lead into the third.
In the final session, Espanola dashed Noah Zeppa’s shutout bid after intercepting a pass and saw Eric Barnard bury a chance following a Benjamin Lacroix shot.
Going to the power play right after that though, Youssef Chaouachi got that back for the visitors as he zipped a shot through a partial screen while at the side boards, which rounded out the scoring.
The victory for Zeppa was his fourth straight as he helped the Thunderbirds improve to 25-5-3-2 on the year.
Loney meanwhile suffered the setback as the Express fell to 8-21-2-0.