The Soo Thunderbirds hosted the Abitibi Eskimos Friday evening at the Essar Centre in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action in Sault Ste Marie.
At 3:42 of the first period, Thunderbird forward Darcy Haines opened the scoring for the Soo with assists from Gavin Burbach and Jaren Bellini. 11:42 into the first, Thunder Bay native set up Haines for his second of the game to give the Thunderbirds a 2 - 0 lead. Gavin Burbach notched his 38th goal of the season with helpers at Haines and Bellini at the 13:54 mark of the second period behind Abitibi's goaltender Brody Wagner.
Scoring the Soo's fourth goal of the game, Joey Miller increased the Thunderbirds lead to 4 - 0 with contributors from Riley Bordin and Nick Tassone at 14:33 of the second frame. With 2:50 left in the second period, Burbach was at it again to bring the game to 5 - 0 with assists from Haines and Shane Snow. Sinking his third of the game and giving Haines a hat trick at 2:49 of the final period with helpers from veteran defenseman Jeremy Solomon and Snow.
With the Soo's Anthony Miller in the penalty box for elbowing, Burbach scored his third and gave the Thunderbird the Soo's second forward to get a hat trick in the game at 12:05 of third with assists from Haines and Radke on Burbach's shorthanded goal. At 14:32 of the third, Anthony Miller scored the Thunderbirds eighth goal of the game with contributors from Tyler Jones and Anthony Butorac.
With 3:22 left in the game, rookie Matthew Mitchell scored the Soo's last goal of the game to give the Soo their 39th win of the season and setting a new record for most wins in a season and giving the Soo a 9 - 0 win over the Eskimos. Tassone and Greyhound prospect Medric Mercier assisted on Mitchell's goal.
The Thunderbirds are back in action on Saturday evening February 1st at the Essar Centre when they face the Elliot Lake Bobcats.
Tonight's game can be seen on FASTHockey.com as well as Saturday's game between the Thunderbirds and Bobcats.
In Other Junior A Hockey News
Salmon Arm Silverbacks - British Columbia Hockey League
Salmon Arm scored two goals in the second period with the first one from Brayden Marsh of the Silverbacks and assists from Jack Berezan and Alex Jewell. On the second goal and the game winner to give the Silverbacks a 2 - 1 win over the first place Interior division Pentiction Vees Friday night, Landon Smith notched his 39th goal of the 2013 - 2014 season on a Salmon Arm power play.
The Silverbacks and Vees will be back in action in their second game of a back to back series Saturday night in British Columbia Hockey League action. With the 2 - 1 win, Salmon Arms moves within 3 points of the Vernon Vipers.
Silverback head coach, Troy Mick told us that "we need to do the same as tonight when we meet the Vees on Saturday night in their second game of a back to back series. All 20 guys played a role to help us win. With 4 starters out it really was a greasy team effort for the win."
Soo Firehawks - Midwest Junior Hockey League
Three periods of regulation and an overtime session were not enough to settle matters as Traverse City Hounds defeated Soo Firehawks in a Midwest Junior Hockey League shootout 5-4 (2-0 SO).
Soo Firehawks Nick Papandera and Andrew Holder both tallied two goals with Holder also adding one assist to lead the team in points. Other players who recorded assists for Soo Firehawks were Anthony Laaksonen, who had one and Cody Anderson and Nicholas Murphy, who each chipped in two assists each. Soo Firehawks registered two goals on eight power play opportunities. Traverse City Hounds kept Soo Firehawks' goalie busy throughout the game, and Anthony Benvenuti made 51 saves on 56 shots.
Watch the archive game between the first place Hounds and the second place Firehawks on FASTHockey.com. At 7:00 p.m on February 1st, both teams will be back at it in MWJHL action at the Big Bear Arena. The MWJHL hockey game can be seen on FASTHockey.com.
FASTHockey Game of the Night
Soo Thunderbirds vs Elliot Lake Bobcats
The first place Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League Soo Thunderbirds will host the fifth place Elliot Lake Bobcats in Sault Ste Marie on Saturday evening. The Bobcats only sit back of the fourth place Abitibi Eskimos by 3 points and four points of the third place Espanola Rivermen. The Bobcats are coming off a 3 -2 overtime win on Friday night against the Rivermen while the Thunderbirds head into Saturday's game with a 9 - 0 shutout over the Eskimos on Friday in Sault Ste Marie.
My Pick - Soo Thunderbirds
Saturday's game between the Thunderbirds and Bobcats can be seen on FASTHockey.com at 7:30 p.m.