Photos: Dal Photography
NOELVILLE – Soo Thunderbirds goalkeeper Noah Metivier was spotless Sunday as he turned aside all 27 shots that he was initially credited to have faced to post his third shutout of the season in guiding his club to a 6-0 win over the French River Rapids in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League affair at Noelville Arena.
The result also proved to be the eighth win in a row for the Thunderbirds, who boast the NOJHL’s best winning percentage at .803.
A splendid rush up the ice saw Sault Ste. Marie connect eight and a half minutes into the match-up when rookie defenceman Andrew Gibson powered his way along the right side and drove to the net while snapping one past French River starter Cole Sheffield.
The marker was his 18th of the season, which leads all league blueliners.
Halfway through the contest, the Thunderbirds’ Dharan Cap made it 2-0 on a delayed penalty as he batted a Gibson attempt from the point that hit the end boards and bounced in front out of mid-air.
The Soo then broke it open in the third by striking four times in under a 14-minute span to win going away and extend their run of victories.
Youssef Chaouachi began the outburst at 1:30 as he forced a turnover and flew down the ice on a breakaway where he made a couple of quick dekes then neatly tucked the puck between the legs of Sheffield.
Up a skater after that, Cap tacked on his second of the day as a Kaden Dundas attempt from the top of the right circle clipped off him on the way by while a slew of players were jammed in front.
Kenny Belanger Jr. then notched his 10th of the season on the next shift as he wired off the post and in from the left face-off dot at 7:45.
Capping off the scoring for the Soo was Michael Chaffay in the late going as he finished off a give-and-go with teammate Cooper Foster with a wrister from the slot.
With the result, the Thunderbirds raised their record to 28-5-2-3 on the season as they maintained their winning ways while the Rapids dipped to 19-21-1-0 overall.