Willms stops 43 as Red Lake blanks Thief River Falls

RED LAKE, Ont. – Red Lake Miners goaltender Zach Willms turned all 43 shots he faced to post his first Superior International Junior Hockey League shutout of the season as he blanked the Thief River Falls Norskies 4-0 Saturday night at Cochenour Arena.

The Miners got the only marker they would require in the back half of the first period as a Kyle Uzelman effort at 16:24 would hold up as the game-winner.

Following a scoreless second stanza, Uzelman added another past the midway point of the third to put the home side up a pair.

Despite a 20-short barrage by the Norskies in the final frame, Red Lake’s Morgan Venne extended their cushion to three with just over five minutes to play.

They then capped off the win in the final moments as defenceman Carson Lux, following a shot block, was the last Red Lake player to touch the puck before a Thief River Falls player’s errant pass back slid all the way into his own empty net with Lux being credited with the goal for the Miners in rounding out the scoring.

In the end though, it was Willms, who was the main difference as he notched his third career shutout in league play.

Norskies  netminder Caleb Sauer faced 32 attempts in defeat.

Photo credit: Patrick Boucha