Miners hold off North Stars 5-4

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – A Michael Di Lullo marker 5:50 into the third period proved to be the game-winner as the Red Lake Miners went on to defeat the Thunder Bay North Stars 5-4 Friday in Superior International Junior Hockey League action at the Fort William Gardens.

After a late arrival due to bus issues, Red Lake came out and skated out to a 2-1 lead after one period of play beginning with a Keegan Tiringer marker at 8:23.

Thunder Bay countered with the equalizer though a couple shifts later as Jonathan Kilby worked the puck over to Evan Nicholas on the left side as he knocked in his 10th to knot the affair at 1-1.

The Miners regained the lead late in the first though as Bryce Young skated down the right wing and whipped a rising shot past North Stars netminder Brock Aiken.

The marker for Young was his 57th of the campaign as he became the second-highest single season goal scorer in SIJHL history, trailing only the 69 tallies Kory McEwen notched for the North Stars back in 2005-06.

Red Lake kept coming and went up 4-1 in the second thanks to Kyle Uzelman as he reachied the 20-goal plateau with an even strength effort while Shaye Sommerfeld put one in on the power play to extend the visitors cushion.

Jacob Brown got one back for Thunder Bay at 17:40 to make it a 4-2 game after 40 minutes.

Di Lullo then jammed in his 33rd in the final frame as the Miners went back up by three.

The North Stars battled back late to make it interesting on a Michael Stubbs strike at 14:13 before Brown added his second of the night and 26th overall in the final minute to bring the home side closer.

However, Red Lake held on from there to earn their second straight triumph over Thunder Bay.

Zach Willms made 34 saves on 38 attempts to record the win for the Miners with back-up Vince Benedetto having one stop in a brief relief appearance.

As for Aiken, he suffered the loss seeing 26 shots in defeat for the North Stars.

Photo credit: Rick Baraniuk