By Gary Moskalyk
Thunder Bay, ON – Eric Vanska and Keenan Marks put on a goaltending clinic before 1,923 fans at the Fort William Gardens as the Kam River Fighting Walleye defeated the Thunder Bay North Stars 2-1 in a five-man shootout.
Jonah DesRosiers scored for Thunder Bay in the second, Anthony Oviedo tied it up in the third. Overtime solved nothing. Ryan Doucette–Kam’s fifth shooter–finally solved Marks. Jake Parker was foiled by Vanska on the Thunder Bay side for yet another one-goal win for the Walleye.
Vanska collected his 14th win of the year, stopping 45 of 46, while Marks suffered his first loss despite a 41-save effort.
“Credit to our guys, down one after two,” said Kam River head coach Geoff Walker. “They buckled down, Got the tying goal. Bit of a kerfuffle in overtime, going both ways. Fortunate to get the two points, that’s for sure.”
Kam River killed off a late third period penalty. Thunder Bay’s power play has faltered a bit lately, unable to take advantage to end it regulation.
“It was a heck of a hockey game,” said North Stars head coach Rob DeGagne. “The way it started it didn’t look like it was going to be a very good game. The second and third and overtime it was back and forth. Good goaltending from us, good goaltending from them. It was an exciting game to watch for sure.”
The Fighting Walleye have four wins this year while Thunder Bay has two of a possible eight points in the series. They meet five more times in the regular season.
Thunder Bay travels to Sioux Lookout Thursday in their lone game next week. Kam River ventures to Fort Frances Friday and Saturday.