These Birds are made for watching.
On the cusp of clinching top spot in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League standings, Soo Thunderbirds will look to further fashion their record of 45-5-3 tonight when they play host to the North Bay Trappers.
Game time is 7:30 p.m. at Essar Centre.
On a team of talent and true grit, here are just five of many Birds worth watching.
Gavin Burbach. The 1993-birth year forward, who is in his fourth NOJHL season, leads the league in scoring with 46 goals, 37 assists, 83 points.
Darcy Haines. Another 1993 birth-year forward, Haines has been lighting it up since joining the Thunderbirds midway through this season. In just 30 games with the Thunderbirds, Haines has 59 points, including 18 goals.
Owen Headrick. The sky is the limit for this 1997 birth-year rookie from Garden River First Nation. Despite being one of the NOJHL’s youngest players, Headrick is one of the league’s best defencemen. An Ontario Hockey League draft pick of the Erie Otters, Headrick also has a Division 1, National Collegiate Athletic Association, full-ride scholarship offer on the table from the Lake Superior State Lakers. He has 8 goals, 21 assists, 29 points this season.
Joel Horodziejczyk. The 1995 birth-year goalie has a record of 28-2-1 to go with a 1.77 goals against average and .933 save percentage. Thunderbirds general manager Kevin Cain said that just the other day, he received a phone call from a Division 1, NCAA coach from out east asking about Horodziejczyk.
Anthony Miller. Quietly and with skill and determination, the former high school player is having a superb second season with the Birds. A 1994 birth-year forward, Miller has produced 28 goals, 33 assists, 61 points.
PHOTO: Thunderbirds rookie defenceman Owen Headrick. (Photo by Ali Pearson.)