Entering Sunday’s game, the Novice 3 Sooke Thunderbirds had some legitimate question marks in their defensive corps after it was discovered that two of their best defenders were going to miss the game against the Duncan Sharks. In order to fill the gap the coaches decided to sacrifice a bit of the team’s offensive firepower by inserting Ireland Greenhough and Jayme Vivian on the back end. This decision turned out to be a great one as Greenhough and Vivian solidified the defense and supported goaltender, Ian MacDonald en route to a 9-4 win. MacDonald was not overly busy but was razor sharp as he turned away a number of glorious opportunities with cat-like reflexes and a solid glove hand. In addition to the solid defensive effort, Sooke enjoyed a decided territorial advantage as Chris Piatkowski, Kobe Knowles, John Richardson and Quinn MacDonald provided all of the scoring the Thunderbirds would need. Matthew Ryan chipped in with three assists, Grant Gilbertson once again displayed pinpoint passing and slick stickhandling and Beau Hicks was buzzing all around the Sharks’ net. Tait Bishop and Owen Phipps also provided exceptional defensive play against the Sharks who clearly have some of the fastest skaters in the league and will prove to be a formidable opponent in the future. As the season draws to a close, the team has shown vast improvement and has a real chance to be successful in the upcoming tournament.