GALLERY: Thunderbirds soar past Vikings

Photos: Bob Davies

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – The Soo Thunderbirds racked up a half-dozen first period tallies and went on to cruise past the Elliot Lake Vikings 12-1 in a one-sided Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League affair Saturday at John Rhodes Community Centre.

Taking early control, Sault Ste. Marie struck three times before the proceedings were five minutes in to spell and early end to Elliot Lake starter Sam Keene’s night, in favour of back-up Matthew Vahramian.

Harley Wardell began the outburst 2:18 in as he won a race down the left wing and roofed a shot for his first NOJHL goal.

They then saw Samuel Lake rip one upstairs from the left face off dot a couple of shifts later before Thomas Degagne went top shelf for the Thunderbirds once again and he wired one high, short side, on Keene.

Coming right back, the T-Birds’ Colton McIntosh greeted Vahramian by going five-hole at 5:31 to extend the edge to four.

Tacking on another, Connor Stokes collected his initial league marker 10 minutes later as he found himself free on front and stuffed in a feed from behind the net.

Capping off the first period barrage with a late man advantage effort, Candon O’Neill put the Soo comfortably in front as he broke through the Vikings’ defence and tucked the puck between the legs and in at 19:23.

In the second stanza, Grayson Ebrahim banged in a rebound to make it 7-0, before Gabriel Manseau put Elliot Lake on the board as he came down the right wing and picked the corner on the Thunderbirds Maverick Fletcher.

Countering, the Soo got later markers off the sticks of Quinn Myles, Jacob Smith and Wardell to put them comfortably in control after 40 minutes.

After Vahramian stymied Ebrahim on a third period penalty shot, Lake added an 11th on the night for the Soo while Callum McAuley capped off the romp.

The win sees the Thunderbirds improve to 21-9-2-1, while with the loss, the Vikings fall to 5-23-1-4.