THUNDER BAY, Ont. – An Evan Nicholas goal past the midway mark of the second period proved to be the game-winner as the Thunder Bay North Stars went on to skate past the Thief River Falls Norskies 5-2 Saturday night in Superior International Junior Hockey League play at the Fort William Gardens.
Thief River Falls came out quickly and took a 1-0 lead 43 seconds into the contest when Mason McIntosh fired a shot that eluded Thunder Bay starter Jordan Smith.
Countering a couple of shifts later, the North Stars equalized when Robert Tyska fed newcomer Dawson Lampi in close as he snapped a shot over the pad of Norskies’ netminder Caleb Sauer for his initial league tally.
Regaining the lead later in the first, the visitors countered off a turnover, skated in and saw Bryce Johnson fire a low shot through the legs of Smith to put the guests back on top.
Back and forth they went as the home side added another to knot the proceedings at 2-2 after one when Jacob Brown buried a chance from in the slot at 18:36.
Thunder Bay then took the lead 11 minutes into the middle stanza when defenceman Nicholas fired a rising attempt from the left point that sailed past a couple of bodies and into the top right corner.
It stayed 3-2 North Stars until the late going of regulation when they got a pair of empty netters off the sticks of Cody Bruchkowski and Joel Willan to help secure the home ice weekend sweep of the Norskies after also winning Friday, by a 3-1 score.
Shots on goal saw Thunder Bay have the edge by a 35-31 count with Smith securing the win and Sauer the setback.
Photo credit: Rick Baraniuk