GALLERY: Thunderbirds hold off Rock

Photos: Jay Houslander –

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – A Michael Chaffay man advantage marker early in the third period held up as the game-winner as the Soo Thunderbirds went on to defeat the Timmins Rock 4-2 in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action Friday night at John Rhodes Community Centre.

Striking first, Sault Ste. Marie’s Jackson Truchan opened the scoring, while on the power play, as he neatly redirected a Chaffey feed from the corner, midway through the opening frame, in beating Timmins goaltender Patrick Brown.

The tally for Truchan also helped him extend a consecutive game point streak to six in succession.

It was more from the Thunderbirds’ forward three minutes into the middle stanza as his hand-eye coordination came into to play once again as he knocked in an Ethan Novello backhand from the high slot.

With a man advantage to begin the third, the Soo made it 3-0 as Brodie McConnell-Barker made a perfect pass over to Chaffay, who had plenty of net to deposit his fourth of the season.

The helper for McConnell-Barker also gave him points in each of first five games with the T-Birds.

Dashing Soo starter Kolton Bourret’s shutout bid at 6:26 saw Liam Wells spin and backhand in a rebound off a Chase Longhurst blast from the right side.

Coming right back, Timmins tacked on another thanks to Lucas Piekarczyk who chipped in a bouncing puck on a play that was generated off a Brady Harroun rush.

Getting Brown out for an extra skater in the late going, Timmins tried to tie it and force overtime and had a couple of opportunities to do so, however the Thunderbirds’ Youssef Chaouachi eventually powered his way down the left wing and secured the home ice victory with an empty netter to round out the night’s scoring.