Head coach Jim Capy uses the word “satisfied” to describe the play of his Soo Thunderbirds through the first four games of the 2014-2015 Great North Midget Hockey League campaign.
After beginning the ’14-15 GNMHL regular season with a loss, the Thunderbirds have since reeled off three wins in succession.
“Overall we are satisfied with our 3-1 start in the GNMHL,” said Capy, the veteran bench boss of many years experience at the junior A, major midget and high school levels. “We have been a little inconsistent in following our game plan but at times have shown the ability to be a very good team.”
The 2014-2015 season marks the return of Sault Ste. Marie to the GNMHL following a one-year hiatus caused by the folding of the erstwhile Soo North Stars.
The Thunderbird midgets, who are directly affiliated with the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, are a work in progress said Capy, who singled out several players for their showing in the early going of the season.
“We are very pleased with the play of forwards Brad Thrower, Brendan Gillis, Jakob Porco and Matt Mackay. Defensively, Jared Fanti and Matt Murray log lots of minutes and 15 year-old Nolan Makkonen looks quite impressive,” noted Capy.
Besides competing within the seven-team GNMHL, the Thunderbirds have in played in several tournaments and exhibition games against American-based teams.
“Although our results have not been what we are looking for in our non-league games, we are very pleased with the development component of what these games provide,” offered Capy. “Many of the teams we have played are made up of players almost two years older than us. Other than our first two games, we have been more than competitive against some of the best competition the U.S. has to offer. It was our goal to give our players the opportunity to develop at the highest possible level and our non-league games provide that.”
Next GNMHL action for the Thunderbirds is Friday, October 10, Saturday, October 11 and Sunday, October 12 when they play host to the Timmins Majors.
The Friday game is slated for 7:30 p.m. at the Essar Centre. The Saturday 6 p.m. match and the Sunday 1 p.m. contest will both be played at John Rhodes Community Centre.