GALLERY: Veterans lead Thunderbirds over Vikings

Photos: Bob Davies

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – Veteran Soo Thunderbirds forwards Kelsey Ouellet and Daniel Beaupre were part of a solid offensive performance in leading the Soo Thunderbirds to a 9-2 victory over the Elliot Lake Vikings Tuesday evening in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division encounter at John Rhodes Community Centre.

Returning to the Sault Ste. Marie line-up following a six-week absence, Jackson Truchan got back to his scoring ways by connecting five minutes into the match-up as he notched his 17th goal of the season with a snap shot from between the hash marks that beat Elliot Lake starter Braydon Garnhart.

Ouellet then made it 2-0 Thunderbirds midway through the first period and he powered his way out from the side boards and collected his 20th tally of the campaign on a night that he also ran a point streak to 13 straight outings.

It was more from the home side right after that with Beaupre converting as he moved into the high slot before neatly picking the right corner at 10:54.

T-Birds defenceman Quinn Myles then drove in from the point and zipped in an attempt from the left side to extend the T-Birds cushion.

Moving to the middle frame, the Vikings got on the board midway through the proceedings after breaking out of their own zone and seeing Gavin McLenaghan wheel down the right wing, then bank one past Thunderbirds’ netminder Troy Rossetto for his 21st tally.

Getting that back during a man advantage, Ouellet finished off some crisp passing by the Soo as he converted from in close for his second of the night.

Up a skate once more, Ouellet hit his hat trick as he quickly finished off a sharp Truchan cross-ice feed.

D-man Adam Kukko added to the onslaught at 17:26 as he went to the net and buried a give-and-go with teammate Daniel Beaupre.

Heading to the third, Silas Crawford tacked on another for the hosts as he banged in a bouncing puck from the top of the crease.

Getting one back in the late going, Max Ciesielski roofed one for the visitors from a sharp angle before Soo captain Kolby Fellinger moved in and fired in a shot from between the circles to wrap things up.

The result sees Rossetto collect his initial league win while seeing the Thunderbirds raise their record to 34-13-4-1.

With the loss, the Vikings drop to 5-43-1-4.