Photos: Bob Davies
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – Riding the strength of a Dharan Cap hat trick, the Soo Thunderbirds skated to a 6-2 decision over the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play Saturday at John Rhodes Community Centre.
Cap put the Thunderbirds in fight early as he tallied twice before the proceedings were nine minutes in.
His initial effort came at 3:45 when he did most of the work on the play and found his way between the hash marks, where he beat Gold Miners’ starter John Lloyd with a nice wrist shot.
Connecting again at 8:45, Cap was the recipient of a nice set-up from linemate Youssef Chaouachi and buried his second of the session from the left side.
Kirkland Lake did get one a couple of shifts later on Chad Van Weelie’s initial NOJHL marker as he whipped one upstairs from the high slot on goalkeeper Landon Miller off a Sault Ste. Marie turnover.
The Thunderbirds went back up by two early in the middle frame with Chaouachi finishing off a nice passing play from in close as he tucked in a backhand on Lloyd.
However, the visitors answered right off the draw to make it 3-2 with Chance DeBolt by chipping one on net that managed to get through Miller and slide in.
Play tightened up defensively from there as the Soo took their one-goal lead into the second intermission.
On a lengthy two-man advantage to begin the final frame, the Thunderbirds capitalized as they smartly worked the puck around before Cap was left to steer in his third of the night at the 35-second mark.
Adding to their edge a few shifts later, Ethan Novello finished off a flurry of actively in front of the net as he banged in his fourth of the campaign during goal-mouth scramble.
Putting the game away, Jackson Truchan put one through the legs of Lloyd and in on a shorthanded breakaway to help secure the home ice triumph.