Photos: Bob Davies
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – The hometown Soo Thunderbirds started strong by scoring four times within the opening 10 minutes of the match-up and went on to crown the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 9-0 Saturday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at John Rhodes Community Centre.
Sault Ste. Marie’s Samuel Lake began the early outburst by connecting just 26 seconds into the contest, as he stuffed in a loose puck following a shot towards the target from the left point courtesy of Kolby Fellinger.
The Thunderbirds came right back and tacked on another just over three minutes later when Declan Gallivan beat Gold Miners’ starter Braydon Garnhart with a wrist shot from the top of the slot that went blocker side into the back of the net.
Not done there, the Soo made it 3-0 at 6:50 with Daniel Beaupre going to the target from the right side and firing one upstairs.
Kirkland Lake then made a goaltending change after that with Connor Davis entering to take over.
Taking a commanding four-goal lead midway through the first period, the T-Birds’ Jacob Smith scored on the power play with a nice redirection in front off a feed off the stick of Jackson Truchan.
Continuing their offensive ways in the middle session, the Thunderbirds tacked on a fifth on the night on a two-on-one where Smith went down the left wing and put a shot on net that was stopped, but Grayson Ebrahim was right there to knock in the rebound to give him points in three straight outings.
The Soo then forced a turnover behind the Kirkland Lake net and worked it in front where James Legler moved it across the crease where Easton Hall chipped it over the pad of Davis for his first NOJHL goal.
Continuing to press, the home side tacked on another, via the man advantage, as Legler sent a crisp feed across to Daniel Beaupre who pumped a one-timer into the opener corner midway through the game.
Completing another four-marker session, the T-Birds’ Thomas Degagne jammed one in from close range to extend the onslaught.
Finishing off the romp late in the third, Alex Remenda picked up his eighth as he finished off a spinning back pass from Legler with just under two minutes to play.
Thunderbirds goalkeeper Kolton Bourret was flawless in registering his second career shutout helping the resurgent Soo side improve to 6-3-2-1 on the year.
With the loss, the Gold Miners fell to 3-6-1-1.