By Matt Stefano
A 6-2 win here, a 6-2 loss there.
That’s the way it’s been for the Soo Thunderbirds these past two days.
After defeating the Espanola Express by a score of 6-2 on Saturday night in the Soo, the Soo Thunderbirds were right back in action less than twenty four hours later as they were in Elliot Lake for an afternoon game against the Elliot Lake Red Wings.
Sunday afternoon’s game was also the Thunderbirds third game in three days.
The Thunderbirds, who were coming off a 6-2 win over Espanola on Saturday night in the Soo, ended up losing to the Elliot Lake Red Wings by a score of 6-2 at Centennial Arena in Elliot Lake.
“Today’s game was pretty disappointing,” said Thunderbirds second-year defenceman Kaden Dundas. “There’s no excuses for the lack of urgency we had today.”
The Red Wings, who entered Sunday afternoon’s game with only 4 wins on the season, picked up their 5th win of the season against their former goaltender Nolan Chartrand, who got the start in net for the Thunderbirds.
It was also the first time Chartrand faced his former team (Elliot Lake) since being released by them earlier this month.
“Nolan had a solid game for us, and I wish we could’ve been better in front of him so he could’ve gotten the win against his old team (Elliot Lake),” Dundas said. “I think Nolan and the Elliot Lake fans appreciated that we gave him a solo lap during the warmups because that gave him a chance to take it all in.”
Chartrand, who got his second straight start in net for the Thunderbirds on Sunday afternoon, was also coming off his first win as a member of the Thunderbirds in Saturday’s 6-2 win over Espanola.
“Heading back to Elliot Lake was exciting, although we didn’t get the result we expected,” said Chartrand, who faced his former team for the first time since being released by them. “I’m looking forward to continuing the success we seen on Saturday and I plan on having a great season with the Thunderbirds.”
With the Soo trailing the Red Wings 3-0 midway through the second period, the Thunderbirds then got on the board at the 10:15 mark, courtesy of Brock Santa Maria’s 6th goal of the season on the power play, which cut the Red Wings lead to 3-1.
The Thunderbirds would then get a goal by rookie forward Youssef Chaouachi, who notched his 4th goal of the season at 16:34 from Russell Oldham, which made the score 3-2 for the Red Wings heading into the third.
With the Soo only trailing the Red Wings by one goal heading into the third, the Wings then ended up scoring three more times in the final frame, including an empty netter by their captain Dayton Clarke to make it a 6-2 final.
“I thought we capitalized on a couple chances late in the game which made it close, but we ultimately couldn’t sustain much pressure offensively,” Dundas said.
On Sunday afternoon, Red Wings forward Matthew Schulist led the way offensively with 2 goals and 1 assist, giving himself his second theee-point game of the season.
Schulist opened the scoring for the Red Wings at the 9:29 mark of the first period, before getting his second goal of the game just 2:45 into the second, which made the score 2-0 for the home side.
Red Wings forward Kaden Laverdiere also had a big day offensively with a goal and an assist while newly acquired defenceman Parker Banks set up two goals.
Alex Antoine (power play) and Jace Simington-Lesanko had the other goals for the Red Wings while Devin Shoreman, Ethan Mercer, Brodie Kearns, Jovani Moses, Cameron Dial and Quinn Gavin-White all chipped in with one assist each.
Thunderbirds netminder Nolan Chartrand gave up 5 goals on 39 shots in the loss while Red Wings goaltender made 32 saves for his first NOJHL victory.
The Thunderbirds will now be back in action for a rematch against the Red Wings this Friday at the John Rhodes Community Centre, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Heading into Sunday afternoon’s game, the Elliot Lake Red Wings had only 4 wins on the season, and all 4 of those wins were recorded by their former goaltender Nolan Chartrand.
Chartrand, who had all four of Elliot Lake’s wins this season, then ended up being released by the club, before being picked up as free agent by the Soo Thunderbirds on November 8.
On Saturday night, former Soo Thunderbirds forward Boris Katchouk picked up his first National Hockey League point with the Tampa Bay Lightning, recording an assist in Tampa Bay’s 3-2 overtime victory against the Florida Panthers.
Katchouk picked up an assist on Victor Hedman’s 2nd goal of the season at the 9:02 mark of the second period, which at that time made the score 2-0 for Tampa Bay.