Baby Birds flap their wings

October 13, 2021

A flock of young skaters are leading the way for the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

Paced by 17-year old forward Tyson Doucette, who leads the Thunderbirds in scoring with five goals, five assists, 10 points in eight games, the Soo has a record of 6-1-1 heading into play this week.

And notably, the four players who follow Doucette on the Thunderbirds points parade are all rookies — Kelsey Ouellet, Samuel Lake, Cooper Foster and defenseman Creo Solomon.

Ouellet, formerly of the Kapuskasing Flyers of the Great North Under 18 Hockey League, has three goals, six assists, nine points while Lake is 6-2-8, Foster is 3-4-7 and Solomon is 2-5-7. Lake, Foster and Solomon all played together with the under 18 Soo Jr. Greyhounds during the shortened 2020-2021 GNHL season.

Meanwhile, another rookie, 2005 birth year defenseman Adam Gibson, made an immediate impact with the Thunderbirds after being recently assigned to the Soo’s NOJHL team by the Soo Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League. In his first two NOJHL games, Gibson lit it up with three goals, two assists, five points from his blue line post.

Thunderbirds general manager Jamie Henderson, who is also the head coach of the under 18 Jr. Greyhounds and a regional scout for the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s, had plentiful words of words of praise for the above mentioned youngsters.

“We knew we were going to be young this season and I can’t say enough about how kids like Doucette, Ouellet, Lake, Foster, Solomon and Gibson — and there are others — have come through for us,” Henderson relayed on a recent edition of the Hockey North Show, which airs on Tuesdays at 5:00 p.m. on radio station Eagle 95.1

“It speaks to the young talent that we have in the Soo and throughout northern Ontario where kids like Ouelett and (defenseman) Kyle Trottier have come to us from Kapuskasing well prepared by (head coach) Sheldon (Reasbeck) and the Flyers,” Henderson added.

Soo Thunderbirds forward Tyson Doucette in action against the Blind River Beavers. (photo by Helen Rancourt)

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