Birds in a Wild West fight

October 30, 2023

Winners of nine of their past 10 games, the Soo Thunderbirds are one of five teams in a frantic race for first place within the West Division of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

Remarkably, only four points stand between five of the six teams in the West Division standings. To be sure, it is anyone’s educated guess as to who is the best in the West from among the Thunderbirds, Soo Eagles, Sudbury Cubs, Blind River Beavers and Espanola Paper Kings.

As for the Thunderbirds, who made it to the NOJHL championship series last spring only to lose to the Timmins Rock in a sizzling six game set, they have a record of 12-4-3 thus far this season after starting out rather slow.

Veteran forward Jackson Truchan leads the Thunderbirds in scoring with 12 goals, 21 assists, 33 points while spark plug rookie Jacob Smith is right behind with 12-15-27 totals. Then there is defenseman Kaden Dundas who has played in only 12 games but has four goals, 12 assists, 16 points.

Between the pipes, holdover Kolton Bourret has shrugged off an injury and now has a record of 6-1-0 with a 2.27 goals against average and .932 save percentage.

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