Photos: Bob Davies
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – A fast start, that saw the Soo Thunderbirds strike for four first period goals, sent them on their way to a 7-0 victory over the Iroquois Falls Storm Saturday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest at John Rhodes Community Centre.
They also saw recently acquired netminder Connor Hatfield handle everything put his way to post the shutout in his NOJHL debut.
Sault Ste. Marie needed just 22 seconds to open the night’s scoring as Alex Remenda notched his team-leading fifth marker of the campaign as he beat Iroquois Falls starter Alexis Mongrain by driving hard to the net from the left wing and eventually stuffing the puck across the goal line.
The Thunderbirds’ power play then helped them extend their edge at 5:48 when Declan Gallivan cut into the slot from the right side and sent a shot past a screened Storm netminder.
Tacking on another 10 minutes later, Jackson Truchan put the hosts up by three when he jammed in a rebound from close range.
The T-Birds fourth in the session came late as they clicked via the man advantage once more off a Jacob Smith effort at 19:25 as he swatted in a Truchan feed from the top of the crease.
Up a skater to begin the middle frame, the Soo’s special teams got their third power play tally, 47 seconds in, compliments of Grayson Ebrahim, who had the last touch off a double deflection while parked in front.
It was more from the Thunderbirds half way through the affair as Smith notched another by lifting a shot upstairs after Truchan forced a turnover behind the Iroquois Falls net.
That also saw the visitors make a goaltending change as Connor Dunham-Fox entered and went the rest of the way for the Storm.
Taking their big lead into the third, Ebrahim extended it 90 seconds in by finishing off more work generated by Truchan to wrap-up the scoring in the one-sided result.
Both teams are right back at it Sunday afternoon as Iroquois Falls visits Blind River at 2 p.m. while the Soo hosts Powassan in a 4 p.m. start back at John Rhodes.