3rd period flurry sends North Stars over Lakers

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – A four-goal flurry four and a half minutes apart in the third period broke open a tie game as the Thunder Bay North Stars went on to defeat to the Fort Frances Lakers 5-2 in Superior International Junior Hockey League play Saturday at the Fort William Gardens.

Neither side would connect offensively in a scoreless opening frame as the two sides hit the first intermission in search of the night’s initial tally.

Thunder Bay did break the deadlock 4:21 into the middle stanza as Alex Erwin deflected a Logan Milhalcin point shot during a man advantage opportunity.

Fort Frances countered with the equalizer just over 10 minutes later as Nakoda Thunderchief fed Matthew Dyck in the high slot as he proceeded to rip home his third of the campaign.

Tied 1-1 in the third, the North Stars erupted for their offensive outburst beginning with Cody Bruchkowski at 3:39.

A couple of shifts later, the hosts tacked on another moments into a power play as Jett Leishman was left with a tap in.

Not done there, Bruchkowski came right back at 7:27 as he wired in his second of the evening and SIJHL-leading 29th tally to extend the lead to 4-1.

Thunder Bay then chased Lakers starter Alex Bugeja 50 seconds after that in favour of backup Dean Buchholz when Enrico Bozac slid in a low attempt.

The visitors then rounded out the scoring with seven and a half minutes to go off a quality snap shot from the point from Ben Hoefler as he converted on a power play chance.

Jacob Brown and Evan Nicholas dished out two assists apiece to aid the North Stars offensive cause.

The North Stars out shot the Lakers 39-29 with Jordan Smith getting the win.

Bugeja suffered the defeat, allowing the five against on 35 changes while Buchholz handled all four attempts he faced in relief.

Photo credit: Gary Moskalyk