Arabia’s 5-goal night leads Thunder Bay to Game 2 triumph over English River



Release Date: Sunday, April 2, 2017

Photo credit: Leith Dunick,

Arabia’s 5-goal night leads Thunder Bay to Game 2 triumph over English River

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – Brad Arabia scored five times to lead the Thunder Bay North Stars to a 9-2 romp over the English River Miners Sunday in a penalty-filled Game 2 of their Superior International Junior Hockey League semifinal at the Fort William Gardens.

The result means the best-of-seven series is now tied 1-1 heading into Game 3 Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. CT at Cochenour Arena.

Prior to the start of Sunday’s contest, there was a moment of silence held in memory of Fort Frances Lakers assistant coach and assistant general manager Grant Perrault, who lost his valiant and courageous battle with cancer Saturday evening.

It was a frenzied pace to begin play Sunday with four goals being scored before the game was seven minutes old.

English River got a gift to begin the proceedings as Thunder Bay starter Nathaniel Dupuis tried to clear the puck out of his zone, but it was blocked by Michael Di Lullo who calmly slid in his third of the series at 1:36.

The North Stars countered with the equalizer 20 seconds later as Arabia saw his pass from behind the net bank off Miners’ goaltender Michael Lenko and in to knot the affair at 1-1 early.

Arabia added another at 3:16, during a power play, as his shot from the slot fooled Lenko and found its way past him to make it 2-1.

Moments into another man advantage, he then capped off his natural hat trick as he redirected a Joe Newhouse feed from the top of the crease to put the home side up by a pair.

Thunder Bay kept coming adding another at 13:23 as Jesse Talakoski chased Lenko with his first of the playoffs.

The Arabia show continued as he notched his fourth of the period a couple minutes later to extend the North Stars cushion.

Talakoski added another for the home side 6:14 into the middle stanza before Jamie Driedger finished off a Sidney Gladue feed for English River.

A Nicholas Nigro power play tally then made it 7-2 Thunder Bay after 40 minutes.

Arabia then struck shorthanded early in the third to complete his five-tally night before Troy Sherman capped off the North Stars outburst to wrap things up.

Nigro and Newhouse dished out three assists apiece in the one-sided decision.

Dupuis finished with 47 saves in posting the win.

Lenko suffered the loss allowing four against on 10 attempts while Spencer Eschyschyn stopped 25 of 30 in 46 and a half minutes of relief.

SIJHL semifinal (Series C)
No. 2 Thunder Bay North Stars vs. No. 3 English River Miners
Best-of-seven series tied 1-1
Game 1: English River 5 Thunder Bay 3
Game 2: Thunder Bay 9 English River 2
Game 3: Wednesday, April 5 @ English River 7:30 p.m. (Cochenour Arena)
Game 4*: Thursday, April 6 @ English River 7:30 p.m. (Cochenour Arena)
Game 5: Saturday, April 8 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m. (Fort William Gardens)
Game 6*: Monday, April 10 @ English River 7:30 p.m. (Cochenour Arena)
Game 7*: Wednesday, April 12 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m. (Fort William Gardens)
*-if necessary