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GALLERY: 4-point night for Smith in Thunderbirds triumph over Express

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – Nick Smith tallied twice and added a pair of assists to help pace the Soo Thunderbirds to a 7-3 triumph over the Espanola Express Thursday evening in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at John Rhodes Community Centre.

Special teams saw Sault Ste. Marie’s Lucas Theriault connected twice on the power play to put the home side up by a pair that were both assisted by Smith and Steven Bellini.

Lukas Lyszyk got one back for Espanola later in the first as he finished off a Brett McInall feed at the 17-minute mark.

Gage Stephney then set-up Smith for his first of the night at 2:15 of the middle stanza before McInall’s 10th of the campaign brought the visitors back to within one a few shifts later.

Heading to the third, the Thunderbirds would break it open as they scored four times to help secure the victory.

Kaidan McDonald and Smith both struck before the period was a minute old as the Soo duo connected quickly to make it 5-2.

Matais Salem added one for the Express with them up a man at 3:30, but the Thunderbirds answered that with goals from Tristan Cicchello, at even strength, and Stephney, on the power play, late to wrap things up offensively.

Noan Boman chipped in with a pair of helpers to aid the Soo cause.

Shots on goal on the night saw the hosts hold the edge by a 26-24 count with William Anderson picking up the win while Joel Rainville suffered the loss.

Game Photos courtesy of Rod Aubertin – SSM Photos