So much skill.
So much heart.
It’s a tough combination to beat.
Talented and tireless, no team in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League works harder than the Soo Thunderbirds.
Winners of 20 straight games, the Thunderbirds are atop the NOJHL standings with 78 points in 44 games from a record of 38-4-2 going into action this weekend.
Veteran forward Grant Syrette, a Garden River First Nation product who played parts of two seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with the Mississauga Steelheads, said hard work is as much responsible for the Thunderbirds success as their skill level.
“We know that we have a really good team with so many good players but we know that doesn’t mean a lot if we don’t work hard,” said Syrette, a hulking winger who has 8 goals, 18 assists, 18 points in just 22 games with the Thunderbirds and is one of the NOJHL’s most-feared players.
Syrette noted that while the skill level of the Thunderbirds is apparent, it’s their conditioning, commitment and effort that has carried them in the close games.
“We may be on a major winning streak but a lot of the games have been decided by one or two goals,” said Syrette. “We have won a lot of games because we just kept working and wouldn’t give up when we got down by a goal or two. How hard we work is the one of the best things about this team.”
Seasoned defenceman Jeremy Solomon echoes the sentiments of Syrette.
“We have got so many guys who can score and we are four lines deep with good defence and good goaltending but for sure we are where we are because of how hard we work,” said Solomon.
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