Shootout sends Thief River Falls to 14th win in a row by defeating English River

COCHENOUR, Ont. – The Thief River Falls Norskies rallied from a two-goal deficit then picked up the lone marker in the shootout as they defeated the English River Miners 4-3 for their 14th consecutive victory in Superior International Junior Hockey League action Saturday at Cochenour Arena.

English River got off to a great start in this one in attempting to hand the No. 1 Canadian Junior Hockey League ranked Norskies their first setback of the season by grabbing a 2-0 lead after one period of play.

Ethan Wong at 6:53 and Sam Cirone less than four minutes later staked the home side to an early cushion.

Action in the second stanza saw Pete Grytdahl collect his first of the year for Thief River Falls to put his side on the board.

Nic Herringer’s initial SIJHL marker restored the Miners’ two-goal cushion at 19:03 of the frame only to see Blair Lindholm counter for the Norskies 15 seconds later for his first to make it a 3-2 game after two.

In the third, Thief River Falls struck again midway session to force overtime when Logan Jackson connected on the power play to record his first of the campaign.

It was scoreless through the remainder of regulation and the five-minute OT sending it to extra shots to determine a winner.

In the shootout, it was the Norskies’ Jared Pedersen that notched the lone tally as he darted in, cut left and lifted a backhand past English River netminder Westin Cardwell to put his club in front.

The Miners had one last chance to force additional attempts but Brock Lefebvre stood tall in the Thief River Falls goal to help his team extend their impressive run to a franchise record 14-0 overall in league play.

Lefebvre was solid all night making 44 saves in regulation and OT and also stopping all three chances he faced in the shootout in picking up the win.

Cardwell faced 38 attempts in defeat helping the Miners earn a point.

The Norskies cap off a three-game road trip Sunday with a stiff test as they put their lengthy winning streak on the line as they pay a visit to Memorial Arena to take on the defending SIJHL champion Dryden GM Ice Dogs at 7:30 p.m.

Photo credit: Patrick Boucha