THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. – Justin Schwartzmiller picked up a goal for a third straight outing as his effort midway through the third period proved to be the game-winner as the Thief River Falls Norskies went on to defeat the Red Lake Miners 4-2 in a Superior International Junior Hockey League match-up Thursday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Thief River Falls opened the proceedings three and a half minutes into the contest as recently acquired forward Tyler Kiley-Ram collected his initial SIJHL tally as he banked one in from behind the goal line off of Red Lake starter Zach Willms and in.
The Norskies then went up by a pair at 12:39 as Jack Michels picked the right corner for his 21st of the campaign.
A Miners power play helped them cut into the deficit before the first frame was complete with Spencer Milne supplying his 11th at 15:04.
Following a scoreless middle session, Red Lake drew level nearly nine minutes into the third as Shaye Sommerfeld stuffed in his 10th right off a face win deep in Thief River Falls territory.
Chipping the puck out of their own zone a couple shifts later resulted in a Norskies two-on-one that saw Isaac Baron put a cross-ice pass on the tape of Schwartzmiller who skated in and buried his fifth in three contests and also notched his first game-winning goal in league play.
The Miners pulled Willms in the late going to try and tie it and force overtime, but Tyler Johnson ice it with an empty netter at 19:25 to round out the night’s scoring.
Caleb Sauer made 21 saves to record the win while Willms stopped 34 of 37 in defeat.
Photo credit: Tim Benton