A long trip to Red Lake from Thunder Bay was even longer than usual for the Thunder Bay North Stars. A traffic accident closed down highway 17 forced the North Stars to back track and take a longer route. The extra time and mileage delayed the arrival of the visiting team and pushed back the games start time.
Cole Wheaton would get the start for the Miners in net while Connor Lemieux started for the North Stars. A big night for both goalies who were making their Junior ‘A’ hockey debuts.
First period action had the Miners open the scoring at 13:17 when Ethan Pool scored his first of the season. Lucas Piekarczyk made it 2-0 for the home team 15 seconds later. After 20 minutes of play the Miners led 2-0 and outshot the North Stars 16-9 in the period. Connor Lemieux made some big saves to keep the game close.
The North Stars special teams got things going in the second period. Nolan Desjardins would score on the power play at 7:37 to get the Stars on the board. A Miners bench minor for too many men would prove costly when Desjardins scored his second power play goal at 13:24 to tie the game at 2. Connor Lemieux turned away 19 shots in the period to keep the game at 2-2 after 40 minutes.
At 3:03 of the third Dawson Nelson put the visitors ahead with his first of the season. Adam Fierriera tied it up for the Miners at 12:26 on a shot from the point on the power play. William Denkiw would shift the momentum back to the Stars at 14:00 before Nolan Desjardins finished off the hat trick at 17:46 to give the Stars a 5-3 lead. Brady Harroun would give the Miners a late lift scoring at 18:36 to make it 5-4. Connor Lemieux held the Miners at bay the rest of the way stopping 42 shots to earn his first victory.
Game 2 of the series goes Friday night at the Cochenour Arena.