SISU Thunderbirds Triumph in Buckeye Classic Hockey Tournament

The SISU Thunderbirds 18U concluded their 2023-24 season with an impressive display at the Buckeye Classic hockey tournament. Over the weekend, they achieved a commendable record of 4 wins, 1 loss, and 1 tie.

The first period remained a tense 0-0 deadlock. Eli McCarthy struck first, followed by a goal from Drew Lause to give the Thunderbirds a 2-0 leading after 2 periods of play.

The AYR Flames fought back in the third period, narrowing the gap to 2-1. Eli McCarthy’s power-play goal extended the Thunderbirds lead to 3-1. With just 7 minutes and 24 seconds remaining, Stephen Sander secured a cushion, making it 4-1 in favor of the Thunderbirds. The AYR Flames managed to get a goal late with 3:04 left in the third period bringing them back within 2 goals. 

Despite the Flames’ late effort, the Thunderbirds executed lockdown defense. An empty-net goal by Brayden Balemian sealed the deal with only 20 seconds left on the clock, extinguishing any hopes of an AYR comeback.

Noteworthy performances included Nicholas Nanberg, who stood tall in net, turning away 39 of 41 shots. Eli McCarthy’s two goals, Drew Lause’s goal and two assists, and Stephen Sanders’ goal and two assists collectively propelled the Thunderbirds to victory. Eli McCarthy’s outstanding contributions earned him the well-deserved title of Finals MVP.

Congratulations to the SISU Thunderbirds 18U for a triumphant season finale!