THUNDER BAY – Sports – The Stouffville Spirit exploded for six first period goals en route to a 10-2 drubbing of the Soo Thunderbirds in day 3 competition at the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Junior A Hockey Championship in Thunder Bay. Starting the onslaught was Michael Robinson who tallied twice 41 seconds apart before the contest was two minutes old.
The Ontario Junior Hockey League champion Spirit went back to work midway through the session thanks to efforts off the sticks of Brandon Gaudette and Alex Botten.
Special teams extended the romp as Drake Caggiula and Christian Powers both struck on the power play in quick succession to chase Thunderbirds’ starter John Kleinhans in favour of Remo Febbraro.
Stouffville tacked on their seventh of the afternoon with Robert Rawlins scoring from the slot at 4:31 and continued their domination striking shorthanded in the final minute of the middle frame as Powers ran the count to 8-0.
The Thunderbirds dashed Jonathon Hall’s shutout bid with 11:59 remaining as Kevin Michelcavage chipped the puck over the Spirit netminder from in tight.
They added another five minutes later as Darcy Casola fired one past Hall from between the hash marks only to see Thomas Tsicos finish off the offensive barrage for the OJHL champs in the final moments.
A six-point game with one goal and five assists earned Botten RBK player of the game laurels for the Spirit while Greg Sartoretto received the nod for the T-Birds.
Shots on goal in the contest favoured Stouffville 52-24 as each team’s respective records went to 2-1 overall.
The final round robin standings will be determined tonight following an all-Superior International Jr. Hockey League match-up between host Thunder Bay (0-2) and champion Wisconsin (1-1) at 7:30PM.
The top club after the four-team preliminary round will earn a direct berth to Saturday’s final while the second and third place squads will vie for the other spot in the title game in semifinal action Friday at 7:30PM.
Story by SIJHL Communications;
Photograph by James Mirabelli