Michels pots winner late as Norskies come back against Miners

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. – Jack Michels of the Thief River Falls Norskies scored on the power play with just under two seconds remaining in regulation to pull out a dramatic 3-2 triumph over the Red Lake Miners in Superior International Junior Hockey League action Friday evening at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Red Lake did start strong as Tucker Evans stuffed in a Hunter Halcrow shot from the left point that barely trickled through Thief River Falls starter Seth Purcilly at 2:33.

The Miners then went up by a pair a few minutes later when Carson Lux’s rising attempt from inside the blueline found its way in during a man advantage opportunity to put the guests up by a pair.

Some sharp passing while on the power play allowed the Norskies to cut into the deficit as defenceman Zach Ross blasted one that beat Zach Willms in the Red Lake net for the lone tally of the middle stanza.

Off a draw, the home side tied it at 16:12 of the third that saw Mason McIntosh neatly redirect a Joe Collins shot and find the open corner to knot the affair at 2-2.

Picking up a man advantage with a minute to go in in the final frame, Thief River Falls converted late when Tyler Johnson made a perfect cross-ice feed over to a waiting Michels, whose quick one-timer flew into the net for the game-winner prior to time expiring.

Collins had two assists on the night for the Norskies while Purcilly handled the final 18 shots he faced to record the victory.

Willms saw 34 attempts fired his way in defeat.

The two sides will meet again Saturday in a 7 p.m. start back at The Ralph.

Photo credit: Tim Burton