Short on players due to injury and with just 12 skaters in the lineup, the minor midget Soo Thunderbirds gave it their all only to fall 4-2 to the major midget New Liskeard Cubs on Saturday night.
Not only were the Thunderbirds short on players due to injury, goalie Noah Zeppa played the game despite battling the flu.
Still, the youthful Thunderbirds stayed with the elder Cubs over the course of the match only to come out on the short end.
A first-year team in the Great North Midget Hockey League, the Thunderbirds now have a record of 0-4-3 through 7 regular season outings.
In Saturday’s showdown with fully-manned New Liskeard, the Soo actually took a 1-0 lead and was tied with the visitors 2-2 after the first period.
After Jason McCormick staked the Soo to a 1-0 lead and New Liskeard went ahead 2-1, speedy forward Justin Mauro tied the game 2-2 with a spectacular breakaway goal in the final seconds of the first stanza.
Taking a long pass from defenseman Mateo Perri, Mauro motored in and double deked New Liskeard goalie Jake McGuire with a back-hand tally.
But New Liskeard would score twice in the second period for a 4-2 lead and then shut down the Soo in the third period for the victory.
Logan Williamson paced the New Liskeard attack with two goals and an assist.
As the gutsy Thunderbirds put forth a pat-on-the-back effort in an against-all-odds team performance, those who particularly stood out included the aforementioned Mauro and Perri as well as forwards Brock Santa Maria and Ty Zachary and defenseman Jack Matier.
PHOTO: Soo Thunderbirds forward Brock Santa Maria. (Photo by Ali Pearson.)