After a the Xmas break the top 2 teams in the SIJHL standings open up the 2019 side of the SIJHL schedule at the Cochenour Arena. Dougie Newhouse would start in goal for the #2 CJHL ranked North Stars while the #15 CJHL ranked Miners would start Zach Willms.
The first period saw both teams showing a little bit of rust as it took some time to get the flow going. Both teams would get a couple of scoring chances and a couple of power play opportunities but after 20 minutes of play neither team could get one past the goalies. Shots on goal North Stars 10 Miners 7.
The second period saw Vince Benedetto come into the game for the Miners starting the period off in the crease. 40 seconds into the period Morgan Venne would take a pass from Michael DiLullo and rip it past Newhouse for his 5th goal and a 1-0 Miners lead. DiLullo would make it 2-0 Miners at 9:38 on the power play putting a pass from Venne behind Newhouse. At 17:08 DiLullo would deflect a Toews shot from the point for his second of the night and 18th of the year. Vince Benedetto would stop all 10 shots he faced in the period and after 40 minutes of play the Red Lake Miners lead 3-0.
Thunder Bay would push in the third period to try to get back into the game. At 9:44 Ryan Mignault would get the puck past Benedetto on the North Stars 7th power play of the game. This goal would give the North Stars some jump and the push to get another one was strong. Newhouse would come to the bench for the extra attacker with 2:50 left on the clock. The Miners were pinned in their end for the latter part of the period but some key blocked shots and the play of Vince Benedetto would seal the 3-1 victory.
Stopping 20 of the 21 shots he faced Vince Benedetto was named as the Goldcorp Red Lake Gold Mines “Hard to Play Against” player and the hard hat to go with it.
Sean Gula was give the yellow “Mucker ” of the game hard hat.
The Venne/DiLullo/Milne line combined for 8 points on the night.
These two teams will battle each other again Saturday night at 7:30pm at the Cochenour Arena.
North Star Air 3 Stars
- #12 Michael DiLullo Red Lake Miners
- #18 Spencer Milne Red Lake Miners
- #29 Vince Benedetto Red Lake Miners