After a 7 – 1 loss to the Soo Eagles on February 9th in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan at the Pullar Stadium, the second place (30-13-2-1) Soo Thunderbirds hit the ice 24 hours later to host their cross border rivals, the fourth place (29-16-0-1) Eagles at the John Rhodes Centre in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League west division action.
On an Eagle power play, Gianni Vitali finds the back of Thunderbird goaltender Brandon Gordon’s net 15:27 into the opening period with Hayden Clark and Nick Techel added the assists on Vitali’s fifth of the season. Sinking the tying goal behind Eagle netminder Carter McPhail, Thunderbird Alex Acosta registered his 12th of the season to even the game 1 – 1. Steven Bellini and Spencer Van Tiem drew the contributors on Acosta’s tying goal. With 2:36 remaining in the middle stanza, veteran forward Mark Tassone scores his 15th of the season to give the hosts a 2 – 1 win over the Eagles. Nick Smith and Austin Heinrich had the helpers on Tassone’s shorthanded marker. Eagle netminder Carter McPhail turned away 34 of 36 shots in the loss while Thunderbird goaltender Brandon Gordon stopped 23 of 24 shots in the Thunderbird’s 31st win of the season.
Next up for the Eagles will be the fifth place Wildcats in Elliot Lake on February 15th at the Centennial Arena in a 7:30 p.m start while Thunderbirds next opponents will be the sixth place Express in Espanola on February 17th with a 7:30 p.m puck drop.