SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – The Soo Thunderbirds notched a season-high eight goals to pick-up their sixth straight Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League victory Sunday as they topped the Elliot Lake Wildcats 8-4 at the John Rhodes Community Centre.
An early offensive barrage saw the Thunderbirds strike four times on 21 attempts to take control of the contest.
Tanner Mayne started Sault Ste. Marie off at 5:29 before Braden Robbins, Noah Solinger and Kaidan McDonald added later efforts to send the Soo on their way.
Brendan Miller made it 5-0 four and a half minutes into the second to spell the end of new Wildcats’ netminder Chris Weilenga’s night in favour of Allan Menary.
Evan Spencer did put Elliot Lake on the board at 7:13, but Mayne added one more a few shifts later.
The Wildcats then struck for tallies from Jacob Kelly, Brett Crook and Cole Burton to pull the visitors to within two.
However, Tyler Malpass notched his fourth of the season 18 seconds after the Burton effort to make it 7-4 after 40 minutes.
The man advantage allowed the Soo to tack on one more as Nolan Ford scored midway through the third to help secure the victory.
Shots on goal in the contest were 48-29 in favour of the Soo with Eric Schuch picking up the win and Weilenga suffering the loss allowing five on 25 attempts while Menary saved 20 of 23 in his stint between the pipes.