Bodnar blanks Norskies as North Stars even series

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. – Brandon Bodnar made 22 saves, including a couple from point-blank range, to backstop the Thunder Bay North Stars to a 2-0 victory over the Thief River Falls Norskies Wednesday in Game 2 of their Superior International Junior Hockey League semifinal series at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

The series is now tied 1-1 as it shifts to the Fort William Gardens for Game 3 Saturday at 8 p.m.

After a scoreless first period, a Jake Behse point blast put Thunder Bay in front 5:12 into the middle stanza.

It stayed 1-0 for the visitors into the third where the North Stars added some insurance after breaking out on a two-on-one where Brad Thrower held on to the puck long enough to make a quick cross-crease pass to a charging Turner Santin who was left with a tap-in at 8:25.

Bodnar did the rest to post the shutout for his side and even the series at a win apiece.

Thief River Falls goaltender Bailey Schmitz faced 36 shots in defeat for the Norskies.

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SIJHL Playoffs

Series D
Semifinal series
No. 2 Thief River Falls Norskies vs. No. 3 Thunder Bay North Stars
Best-of-seven series tied 1-1
Game 1: Thief River Falls 2 Thunder Bay 1
Game 2: Thunder Bay 2 Thief River Falls 0
Game 3: Saturday, April 7 @ Thunder Bay 8 p.m. ET (Fort William Gardens)
Game 4: Sunday, April 8 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m. ET (Fort William Gardens)
Game 5: Monday, April 9 @ Thief River Falls 7 p.m. CT (Ralph Engelstad Arena)
Game 6*: Wednesday, April 11 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m. ET (Fort William Gardens)
Game 7*: Thursday, April 12 @ Thief River Falls 7 p.m. CT (Ralph Engelstad Arena)
*- if necessary

Photo credit: Allison Garrigan