League-leading Norskies improve to 25-1 with triumph over Lakers

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. – The Superior International Junior Hockey League-leading Thief River Falls Norskies picked up two goals from Mitchell Soderberg and a pair of assists from both Michael Johnson and Jared Pederson to help them edge the Fort Frances Lakers 4-3 Saturday at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

The Lakers picked up the lone goal of the first period, late in the session, when Adam Withers notched his first SIJHL marker by striking shorthanded at 18:55.

Heading into the middle stanza, Thief River Falls was quick to tie things up as Soderberg’s 10th of the season levelled the proceedings 25 seconds into the frame.

Then Blair Lindholm’s ninth of the year put the Norskies in front two minutes later as the league-leaders took a 2-1 lead.

After Parker Simonson’s SIJHL-best 25th of the year put Thief River Falls up by two at 9:01, Fort Frances countered with a Noah Loveday effort 73 seconds later to make it a one-goal game once more.

However the Norskies added another during a late man advantage with Soderberg adding his second of the night at 18:25 to make it 4-2 after 40 minutes.

The Lakers drew closer early in the third thanks to Nick Lucas at 1:46, but that’s as close as they would get as Thief River Falls held on for the win to improve to 25-1 on the season.

Bailey Schmitz made 28 saves to record the victory for the Norskies while Brett Akins saw 32 shots fired his way in defeat for Fort Frances.

Photo credit: Allison Garrigan