It’s a sure sign of spring.
Soo Thunderbirds are off to the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League championship series for the fourth successive season.
Playing at home on Saturday, the Thunderbirds blanked the Elliot Lake Wildcats 6-0 to take the best-of-seven, semi-final playoff series in five games.
Rookie forwards Matt Caruso and Nic Sicoly, along with Joey Miller, Anthony Miller, Matt Busby and future Lake Superior State University Lakers defenceman Owen Headrick all found range for the Thunderbirds in support of the 19-save shutout by Brian Kment.
With the win, the Jordan Smith-coached, Kevin Cain-managed Thunderbirds will take on the Cochrane Crunch in a best-of-seven series for the NOJHL championship.
The Thunderbirds won the NOJHL title in 2011-2012 before losing in the finals to the erstwhile North Bay Trappers in 2012-2013 and the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners in 2013-2014.