Wisconsin takes 2nd straight decision over Thief River Falls

SPOONER, Wis. – A well-balanced offensive attack saw the Wisconsin Lumberjacks collect goals from four different players as they went on to defeat the Thief River Falls Norskies 4-2 Saturday in a Superior International Junior Hockey League match-up at the Spooner Civic Center.

After also topping the Norskies Friday night, Wisconsin came out quickly in this one as they skated to an early 2-0 cushion.

On a power play, Wisconsin got going when Joel Matthews made a crisp cross-ice pass over to a waiting Cameron Birkeland, who quickly let loose a low shot that beat Thief River Falls starter Joshua Seeley.

Intercepting a clearing attempt a minute and a half later, Austin Cardinal put one on the tape of Matt Turnbull for a tap in from close range to put the hosts up a pair.

Following a scoreless middle session, the Lumberjacks connected 12 seconds into the third to extend their lead as Ryan Green potted his 10th with help from Matthews and Braden LaPorte.

It was more from Wisconsin a couple of shifts later that was finished off by Nicholas Solema, who went upstairs from the slot to make it 4-0 and spell then end of Seeley’s night as he was replaced by Seth Purcilly, who went the rest of the way.

The Norskies finally solved Lumberjacks’ netminder Hunter Adams at 5:17 when blueliner Connor Kalthoff collected his 10th tally of the season with a shot from the right point.

Thief River Falls came right back again off the draw as they pulled to within two moments later with captain Bryce Johnson firing in his 13th with an attempt from the right circle.

However, the hosts tightened up defensively from there and saw Adams finish with 37 saves to help secure the home ice victory for Wisconsin.

Matthews, LaPorte and Austin Cardinal each chipped in with two assists each in the triumph.

Seeley suffered the loss for the Norskies, allowing the four on 22 chances while Purcilly handled all nine attempts he faced in relief.

Photo credit: Karina Schafer