GALLERY: Thunderbirds soar past Gold Miners


SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – A five-goal first period was more than enough for the Soo Thunderbirds Saturday as they cruised to a 10-2 triumph over the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest at John Rhodes Community Centre.

A surging Kelsey Ouellet needed just 51 seconds to put the Thunderbirds on the board and run a consecutive game point streak to 14 in succession as he beat Gold Miners’ starter Trent Boryszczuk by driving down the right wing, then taking the play cross-crease before tucking the puck into the open corner.

Sault Ste. Marie then went up by two at 3:20 when Kolby Fellinger knocked down a clearing attempt just inside the Kirkland Lake blueline, then skated in and whipped a wrist shot into the back of the net.

Jason Towindo got one back for the guests by redirecting an attempt from the point during a power play, only to see the T-Birds answer back with a couple of markers shortly after that to make it 4-1.

It took Jacob Smith just 11 seconds after the Gold Miners’ goal as he steered in a Jackson Truchan feed.

The Soo’s Samuel Lake added to the home side’s lead by banking one in from a sharp angle.

Notching a fifth in session, Silas Crawford went coast-to-coast with a dash up ice and ripped a shot by the glove of Boryszczuk in the final minute.

Up a skater early in the second helped the Thunderbirds strike once more with Smith tipping in a Declan Gallivan point shot in the first minute.

Callum McAuley then worked his way to the slot and buried one into the right corner to make it 7-1.

This also resulted in a goaltending change as back-up Stephen Amaro entered for Kirkland Lake.

Inde Abresch got one back for the Gold Miners, 11:38 into the third, as he finished off a Noah Woodard set-up.

Smith then completed a hat trick by converting a Truchan pass into the slot less than a minute later.

Lake and Kaden Dundas finished off the one-sided result for the Soo in the late going.

With the win, the Thunderbirds improve to 35-13-4-1 and in the loss, the Gold Miners slip to 10-38-5-2.