Norskies need shootout to get past Lakers

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. – A Tyler Johnson tally proved to be the lone goal of the shootout as the Thief River Falls Norskies pulled out a narrow 5-4 decision over the Fort Frances Lakers in a Superior International Junior Hockey League match-up Friday at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

A free-wheeling first frame saw the two teams combine for five goals, including three by Fort Frances.

After Peyton Hughes gave the Lakers an early lead, Jack Michels bagged his 25th of the campaign for the Norskies at 10:37 to knot the affair at 1-1.

Answering quickly, Kyle Uzelman put the visitors back on top only to see Michels strike once more as his second of the night levelled the proceedings yet again.

The Lakers answered that in the final minute of the opening stanza when Ethan Carlson-Jourdain picked up his sixth of the year to make it 3-2.

Back and forth they went in the next session as Justin Schwartzmiller, via the power play, connected for TRF while Flynn Perry chipped in with an even-strength effort to go the guests a 4-3 edge after two.

Special teams helped Thief River Falls force overtime at 6:24 as Nick Harder provided the equalizer while up a skater.

After a scoreless five-minute OT, extra shots were needed to determine a winner and there, Johnson was the only one to connect to help give his team the additional point on the night.

Seth Purcilly made 32 stops to collect the win for the Norskies while Alex Bugeja’s 45 saves helped the Lakers get one point in defeat.

Photo credit: Tim Benton