Michels scores twice as Thief River Falls tops Thunder Bay

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. – Jack Michels had a pair of goals, including the game-winner, to help propel the Thief River Falls Norskies past the visiting Thunder Bay North Stars 4-2 Friday in a Superior International Junior Hockey League match-up at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Michels collected the lone marker of the opening period as he beat Thunder Bay starter Seth McKay at 7:48.

The North Stars tied it on the power play early in the second stanza when Cody Bruchkowski notched his SIJHL-leading 39 tally of the season at 3:57.

However, the Norskies came right back to go in front as Nick Harder finished off his 15th, with a close range effort.

Later in the stanza, Michels potted the eventual difference maker as he darted down the right side and fired a low shot through the legs of McKay to put the home side up by two after two.

Thunder Bay pulled back to within one at 13:45 of the third as Alex Erwin finished off a Jacob Anttonen feed into the slot.

With their netminder out for an extra attacker and play deep in Thief River Falls territory, Thunder Bay pushed for the equalizer, but Tyler Johnson snagged the puck behind his own goal and proceeded to launch a 200-footer all the way into the empty North Stars net at 19:18 to secure the victory.

Bryce Johnson dished out two assists to aid the Norskies cause.

Shots on goal finished up 28-24 in favour of TRF with Caleb Sauer getting the win while McKay suffered the loss.

The two sides tangle again Saturday back at The Ralph at 7 p.m.

Photo credit: Tim Benton