North Stars knock off Miners

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – The two highest-scoring teams in the Superior International Junior Hockey League combined for 13 more markers on Friday, but it was the Thunder Bay North Stars that supplied the majority of them as they went on to thump the Red Lake Miners 9-4 at the Fort William Gardens.

Thunder Bay started quickly grabbing a 2-0 lead before the contest was three and a half minutes old on tallies from Jacob Brown and Michael Stubbs.

Red Lake battled back with two of their own compliments of Shaye Sommerfeld and Keegan Tiringer to knot the affair before Kyle Auger put the North Stars back on top, via the power play, at 16:49 to help give him points in seven straight.

The home side broke it open in the middle stanza though as they connected for four unanswered markers off the sticks of Josh Bryant, Stubbs, Brown and Ryan Mignault.

Action in the third saw the Miners come out flying as they scored twice early, in rapid succession, to chase Thunder Bay starter Dougie Newhouse in favour of back-up Brock Aiken as Sommerfeld and Kyle Uzelman found the back of the net 20 seconds apart.

The hosts would regroup and put the game away in the back half of the frame as Ben Erwin bunted one home in mid-air at 13:25 before Mignault finished things off with his 33rd three minutes later.

A well-balanced attack saw 10 different skaters record points for the league leaders.

Newhouse did pick-up the win for the North Stars stopping 20 of 24 in just over 41 minutes of work while Aiken handled all nine attempts he faced in relief as Thunder Bay won their seventh straight game.

Miners’ netminder Vince Benedetto faced 53 attempts in defeat, which included stopping Mignault on a third period penalty shot.

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

Photo credit: Rick Baraniuk