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GALLERY: Thunderbirds too much for Express

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – The Soo Thunderbirds picked up multi-point efforts from eight different skaters helping them go on to drop the Espanola Express 8-1 Tuesday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League encounter at John Rhodes Community Centre.

Sault Ste. Marie began the night’s scoring late in the first period, as following a faceoff win, the puck was worked back to a waiting Cameron Dutkiewicz at the left point where he let a quick low shot that eluded Espanola starter Carson Boutin for his first NOJHL goal.

The Thunderbirds added to their lead in the middle frame as they wheeled out of their own and drove to the net where Caleb Wood snapped in his second of the season with an effort from the slot.

Building on that, Wood notched another a couple of shifts later as he converted during a Soo power play chance.

Espanola capitalized on a late man advantage to get one back before the period was complete as Lucas Littlejohn made a nice crisp slap-pass from the right point to an open Cole Delarosbil parked to the left of the net where he chipped in his third of the season at 19:43.

Up a skater themselves early in the third, the Thunderbirds used some nice puck movement that was eventually finished off by Tyson Doucette, as he collected his initial league tally and made it 4-1.

The Soo then broke it open, getting goals in rapid succession courtesy of Michael Chaffay, Parker Morgan, with his first in league play, and Cooper Smyl, shorthanded, to help secure the home ice triumph.

Smyl then finished off the one-sided result as he clicked on the power play to round out the five-goal stanza.

Soo starter Scott Young finished with 30 saves to earn his initial NOJHL victory.

Boutin began the contest in net for the Express and allowed two against on 26 shots while Luke Beally suffered the defeat in relief, handling 29 of the 35 chances faced.

Game Photos: Bob Davies