HOYT LAKES, Minn. – The Minnesota Iron Rangers let a four-goal third period lead slip away before regrouping and picking up their first win of the season, a 6-4 triumph over the Thunder Bay North Stars Sunday, in a Superior International Junior Hockey League contest at Hoyt Lakes Arena.
Minnesota started strong by grabbing a 2-0 lead on tallies from Bryce Litke midway through the session before teammate Zac Horn notched his first SIJHL marker at 16:24.
The Iron Rangers then extended their cushion 20 seconds into the middle stanza on an Elias Thompson effort.
Continuing to press offensively the home side added another compliments of Max Sturko at 17:57.
However Thunder Bay stormed back in the third by striking four times before the period was six minutes old to suddenly knot the score at 4-4.
The North Stars’ rally began courtesy of Troy Sherman at 1:21 before Alex Maticic made 4-2 just 61 seconds later.
It was more Thunder Bay at 4:09 when Carson Smith pulled the visitors to within one.
The North Stars kept coming and drew level just over a minute after that as Keighan Gerrie collected his first SIJHL goal.
Regaining their composure, Minnesota went back in front with 6:08 to go as Cole Emery picked up the eventual game-winner.
They then secured their initial victory on the campaign in the late going as Thompson iced it with an empty netter in the last minute to round out the scoring.
Clayton Brown had three assists in the Iron Rangers win with Thompson having a helper as the pair both had three-point nights.
Shots on goal in the contest favoured Thunder Bay by a 35-30 count with Tyler Thompson earning the decision and Dougie Newhouse the loss.