By Matt Stefano
After extending their winning streak to 10 games Friday night with a 5-3 win in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, the Soo Thunderbirds were looking to go two for two against the Soo Eagles at the Essar Centre on Saturday night in the second game of a home and home series.
The T-Birds swept the home and home series against the Soo Eagles Saturday night, defeating them 4-2 on Essar Centre ice.
“We just stuck to our game plan,” said T-Birds forward Zach Senecal, who turned 19 years old on Saturday. “We worked hard and executed our game plan. Last night was a big game too. We played really well and to get the two wins is big. We play one more game tomorrow to finish off the regular season.”
The T-Birds also extended their winning streak to a season high 11 straight.
“I think we are sticking to our game plan and that’s the biggest thing,” continued Senecal. “We have gelled very well in last month or so. That’s really good going into the playoffs. But we’re practicing hard and everyone is working well together.”
Senecal, who scored twice in Friday’s 5-3 win over the Soo Eagles at Pullar Stadium, added two more goals and an assist on Saturday night against the same team.
“I had a good season I think,” said Senecal. “I have really good linemates that have helped with how I’ve been producing this year.”
Senecal, who notched his 32nd and 33rd goals of the season Saturday night, became the first T-Bird to hit 33 goals in a single season since former T-Birds captain Gavin Burbach (2013-2014), who went on to have 48.
“I think I’ve definitely improved since last year,” concluded Senecal. “I think I’ve learned a lot from the veteran players last year. What I brought into this year has helped a lot. Playing on a line with Caruso and Kozluk has been good because they are both really good players.”
Gage Stephney (shorthanded) and Mark Tassone had the other goals for the T-Birds.
Guelph Storm prospect Keegan Stevenson set up two goals in the T-Birds victory while Sean Emmerson and Matt Caruso added an assist each.
Brent Jones and Roman Gaudet had a goal and an assist each for the Eagles while Nate Harris also had a two point night with a pair of helpers.
Kade Phipps gave up 4 goals on 28 shots in the Eagles loss while Brandon Gordon made 28 saves for the T-Birds win.
The T-Birds will conclude their 2016-2017 regular season on Sunday, March 5th at 2:00 p.m. against the Rayside Balfour Canadians at the Essar Centre.
Fans are asked to be in their seats early for tomorrow afternoon’s contest, as graduating T-Birds Sean Emmerson, Mike Winn, Austin Kozluk and Ryan Waterhouse will all be honoured during a pregame ceremony.
(Photo credit to Rod Aubertin ssmphotos.com)