North Stars need lengthy shootout to edge Miners

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – A Kyle Auger conversion in the sixth round of the shootout proved to be the difference as the Thunder Bay North Stars edged the English River Miners 4-3 Friday in Superior International Junior Hockey League action at the Fort William Gardens.

The visiting Miners did get on the board first with the lone tally of the first period as Ethan Wong picked up his eighth goal of the season midway through the session.

Auger’s first SIJHL goal 9:21 into the second stanza during a Thunder Bay power play tied things up only to see Michael Di Lullo notch a man advantage marker of his own just over five minutes later to put the visitors back on top.

The back and forth affair saw Alexander Erwin knot the contest at 2-2 with 9:18 remaining in regulation.

However English River regained the lead at 13:40 thanks to Kyle Rosolowski.

Once again though Thunder Bay countered to force overtime thanks to Joe Newhouse at 15:52.

After the five-minute OT did not provide a winner, extra shots were needed to decide the outcome.

Jacob Siebenga of the Miners and Keighan Gerrie of the North Stars both converted on their chances there, but no other opposing shooters could until Auger buried his opportunity to give the home side the win.

Dougie Newhouse made 34 saves in 65 minutes of work along with five stops in six shootout chances to record the win for Thunder Bay.

English River netminder Michael Lenko helped his team earn a point in defeat as he handled 40 of 43 attempts in regulation and OT as well as four of six in the shootout.

The same two teams meet again Saturday back at the Gardens in a 7:30 p.m. start.

Photo credit: Gary Moskalyk