17 year old rookie netminder Mario Culina of the Soo Thunderbirds started in net for his fourth straight game in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League against the Elliot Lake Wildcats. The west division first place Thunderbirds are coming off a 3 – 2 double overtime win over the third place west division Wildcats 6 days ago in Elliot Lake with Culina being between the pipes.
At 8:22 of the first period, Elliot Lake’s Kevin Miller sinks one behind Culina to give the Wildcats a 1 – 0 lead. Shane Woolsey and Alec McKenize had the helpers on Miller’s goal. 4:05 into the second period, Elliot Lake’s Shane Woolsey gives the Wildcats a 2 – 0 lead with contributors from Josef Kittelberger and Kevin Miller. With seven seconds left in the game, Elliot Lake’s leading scorer Cole Hepler sank the Wildcats third goal of the game to give the visitors a 3 – 0 shutout win over the Soo.
Elliot Lake’s A.J Smith earned second shutout of the 2014 – 2015 NOJHL season.
Coach Nathan Hewitt of the Wildcats told the Junior Hockey Network that “that it was a well deserved win. We stuck to our game plan almost the entire game. I thought we did all of the little things right. When we did break down, A.J was there to save our bacon.”
The Soo will head down highway 17 on November 29th to meet the Beavers in a 7:30 p.m start in Blind River.