Special teams sends Thunderbirds over Red Wings

Photo: Matt Stefano

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – Youssef Chaouachi tallied twice, including a shorthanded effort, as part of a 4-1 victory by the Soo Thunderbirds over the Elliot Lake Red Wings Friday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at John Rhodes Community Centre.

Special teams were pivotal in the opening 20 minutes as Sault Ste. Marie clicked twice on the power play to take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.

Kaden Dundas got the Thunderbirds going at 13:52 as he lifted one through a maze from the point for his fourth of the season.

Up a skater again a few minutes later, the Soo notched another as Tyson Doucette finished off some great puck movement as he buried one from the slot for his 10th on the year.

On the man advantage to begin the second stanza, Elliot Lake capitalized as Kaden Laverdiere neatly tipped in an Ethan Mercer pass to the front of the net.

Picking up the man-down marker from Chaouachi, the Thunderbirds went up 3-1 at 12:17 as he went short side on recently acquired Cameron Smith, who was making his NOJHL debut between the pipes for Elliot Lake.

It was more from Chaouachi before the session was complete as he took a nice feed from Cooper Foster and connected from the top of the crease.

Neither side converted in a scoreless third period before time expired.

Noah Metivier finished with 22 stops to collect the win for the Soo while Smith was solid in his first league outing, making 38 saves along the way.