Thunderbirds top Wildcats 4-2



Release Date: Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

Thunderbirds top Wildcats 4-2

SAULT STE. MARIE – Andrew Barbeau’s first goal of the season, six and half minutes into the third period, proved to be the game-winner as the Soo Thunderbirds doubled up the Eliiot Lake Wildcats 4-2 in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action Sunday evening at the John Rhodes Community Centre.

The hometown Thunderbirds got off to a quick start in this one grabbing a 2-0 lead on Matt Caruso’s nine of the season and Nathan Hebert’s 10th. Hebert as he also extended a point streak to five in succession with his effort.

Elliot Lake pulled to within one at 18:28 of the opening stanza as Jason Wilson recorded his sixth of the campaign to get his side on the board.

The Wildcats drew level with the only marker of the middle stanza when Spencer MacLean connected on the power play at 12:50.

MacLean has now scored in six straight contests and is also riding a nine-game point streak.

Barbeau picked up the difference maker in the final frame while Eric Hillock iced it with a power play marker in the late going to round out the scoring.

Mario Culina made 26 saves to pick-up the win for the T-Birds, who improved to 23-4-0-3 on the campaign.

A.J. Smith faced 40 shots in a losing cause for Elliot Lake as they fell to 20-8-1-1 overall.

The NOJHL now enters its holiday break with games resuming Jan. 2 as Mattawa visits the Sault, Elliot Lake hosts Sudbury and Cochrane entertains Powassan in a trio of 7:30 p.m. starts.