CARROT RIVER — The Carrot River Outback Thunder secured their first win of the season in impressive fashion.
In front of a home crowd on Sunday night, the Outback Thunder downed their Prairie Junior Hockey League foe the Prince Albert Titans, 6-1. Tyrell Nicklen paced Carrot River offensively with a hattrick, while Steven Soyko made 39 saves for the Outback Thunder. The team improved its record to 1-8-1 on the season.
“The first win of the season is always the hardest one I find,” said Outback Thunder forward David Wiens, a hometown product. “Our whole team [Sunday] played unreal. Everyone was going and that’s huge for our team. We talked about playing a full 60 minutes and we did that tonight!”
Outback Thunder general manager Brennan Hall echoed Wiens’ sentiments about playing a full 60 minutes.
“This is one of the first times this year our boys have played an entire 60 to the best of their capabilities,” Hall said. “Going 3-for-7 on the power-play obviously helped, but we did a better job at keeping our composure as well. The boys rallied off of each other and didn’t stop until the final buzzer.”
As well as the players, the victory was important to the Outback Thunder fans.
“You could just tell everyone in the building was amped up by it and it makes for a way more exciting game to watch when we win,” Wiens said.
Nicklen scored the first of his three goals in the opening period to stake the hosts to a 1-0 lead. Wiens put the Outback Thunder up 2-0 and Nicklen made it 3-0, both on the powerplay, before the Titans scored. In the third period, Liam Hallett, Nicklen and Kayden Graham lit the lamp. Nicklen’s final goal of the night came on the powerplay on his way to finishing with four points.
“He’s a big impact player and, for him to get a hattrick in that game, it just gets the boys going,” Wiens said.
Tyler Almen recorded four assists in the contest. Wiens had a goal and an assist.
On Saturday night, the Outback Thunder fell 5-2 to the Saskatoon Quakers, who are second in the PJHL. It was Soyko’s debut with the team and he made 55 saves. Hall said that penalties hurt the Outback Thunder in that contest with three goals coming shorthanded. However, the general manager indicated that Soyko was rock solid in both games. Soyko had been acquired earlier this month from Prince Albert.
“I’m not sure if the fact that his old club was opposite of him (Sunday) lit a fire under him or what, but once again he continues to amaze as he turned aside 39 of 40 (shots),” Hall said. “Through two nights, he set aside 94 out of 100 shots on goal. We knew we were getting a quality goaltender when we dealt for him, and that’s exactly what we are seeing so far!
The Thunder Last Week
Saturday, Oct. 26 in Carrot River
Saskatoon Quakers 5, Carrot River 2
Outback Thunder scorers: David Wiens, Brett Harper
Quakers Scorers: Kaleb Bull, Nic Prediger, Cole Young, Dodge Long, Jordan Hudson
Goalies: Steven Soyko, Carrot River, 55 saves on 60 shots; Parker Sturby, Saskatoon, 21 on 23
Notes: Soyko was solid in his Outback Thunder debut as he turned away 55 shots. He was backed up by Logan Lasby, a 16-year-old from Gronlid. Carrot River’s own Wiens scored first. The game was tied 1-1 after the first period. The Quakers outscored the Outback Thunder, 3-1, in the second period to take a 4-2 lead.
Sunday, Oct. 27 in Carrot River
Carrot River 6, Prince Albert 1
Outback Thunder scorers: Tyrell Nicklen (3), Kayden Graham, Liam Hallett, David Wiens
Titans Scorers: Tanner Hendricks
Goalies: Steven Soyko, Carrot River, 39 saves on 40 shots; Carson Schewaga, Prince Albert, 31 on 37
Notes: The Outback Thunder grabbed their first victory of the season. The home team led 1-0 and 3-1 at the intermissions. Tyler Almen had four assists.
The Outback Thunder (1-8-1) open their November schedule on the road against the Saskatoon Westleys on Saturday. On Sunday, the team plays the West Central Rage in Carrot River.