THUNDER BAY, Ont. – The Thief River Falls Norskies stormed back from a four-goal third period deficit before going on to win 7-6 in overtime and stunning the Superior International Junior Hockey League-leading Thunder Bay North Stars Friday night at the Fort William Gardens.
Skating in his first home game since rejoining the North Stars, Jett Leishman took a Jacob Brown feed and snapped a quick shot past Thief River Falls starter Joshua Seeley at 4:20 to make it 1-0.
Countering, the Norskies drew level midway through the opening frame as Cameron Lizakowski collected a loose puck in a slot and beat Thunder Bay starter Jordan Smith for his second of the campaign.
The North Stars did regain the lead before the first period was complete when Cody Bruchkowski sped down the right wing and found the left side of the net to put them up 2-1.
In the middle session, Thunder Bay’s Bruchkowski tallied twice on the power play, including once on a two-man advantage, to finish off a hat trick and put the hosts up by three before the session was five minutes in.
After Nikolas Campbell made it 5-1 North Stars, Bryce Johnson brought the visitors closer at 18:26.
Third period play saw Alex Erwin make it 6-2 and seemingly put Thunder Bay in full control two and a half minutes in.
Beginning their comeback, Jack Michels, on the power play, and Briar Sylvester, at even strength, connected in quick order to pull Thief River Falls to within two.
Michels then stuffed in his second of the evening at 13:18 to make it a one-goal game before Bryce Johnson notched another 44 seconds later to knot the affair and help force OT.
In the extra session, the Norskies went to the power play and finished off their impressive rally when Michels sent a cross-ice pass over to Tyler Johnson who buried a one-timer and give Thief River Falls the victory.
Mason McIntosh dished out four assists to aid the winner’s cause.
Shots on goal on the night favoured the North Stars 47-44 with Seeley securing his third win in as many starts since joining the Norskies while Smith suffered the loss as Thunder Bay dropped a second straight game.
The teams meet again Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. back at the Gardens.
Photo credit: Gary Moskalyk