Rookie defenceman Andrew Barbeau scored his first Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League goal — and it stood as the game winner — as the Soo Thunderbirds closed out the 2014 portion of the season with a 4-2 triumph over the visiting Elliot Lake Wildcats on Sunday.
Forward Matt Caruso — who like Barbeau, is a 1997 birth-year rookie — and veteran skaters Nathan Hebert and Eric Hillock also scored for the league-leading Thunderbirds, who boosted their record to 23-4-3 on the season.
Jason Wilson and Spencer MacLean beat Soo goalie Mario Culina for the two Elliot Lake goals. Culina stopped 24 other shots to improve his record to 14-3 with a 1.95 goals-against-average and .930 save percentage.
The Thunderbirds are now off until January 2, 2015.