Gerrie hat trick highlights North Stars win over Lakers

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – The surging Thunder Bay North Stars saw Keighan Gerrie score three times to help his side skate to a 6-3 victory over the Fort Frances Lakers in Superior International Junior Hockey League play Wednesday at the Fort William Gardens.

The visiting Lakers were first to score in this one as Nick Lucas forced a turnover near the Thunder Bay blueline and in turn flipped the puck up to an open Jaedin Ness who lifted a backhand through North Stars’ netminder Brock Aiken.

However, the home side countered a couple minutes later with Kyle Auger firing a cross-ice pass over to Ryan Mignault who whipped a one-timer past Fort Frances starter Jacob Gnidziejko at 6:32.

Moving on to the middle session, the Lakers went back in front late on a man advantage opportunity as Noah Loveday jammed in a rebound off a Kirk Coppock right point shot at 4:59.

The North Stars were quick to equalize once more as Miganult chipped the puck free on the boards over to Gerrie who flew down the left wing and deked out Gnidziejko and neatly tucked it into an open side.

Thunder Bay took their first lead late in the frame with Alex Erwin finishing off a two-on-one with Jacob Anttonen at 18:16.

Gerrie added his second of the night five minutes into the third as he put one through Gnidziejko after taking a Joel Willan feed.

Picking up a power play, the Lakers made quick work and moved it around that eventually left Colton Bodnar with a tap in at 8:10.

The North Stars then put the game away by tallying twice in a 48-second span with Gerrie finishing off his hat trick before Alex Erwin added another in rapid succession.

Willan, Mignault and Ben Erwin all added two assists in the triumph helping Thunder Bay win their seventh straight while improving to a SIJHL-best 17-1-1.

Aiken finished with 40 stops to pick up the victory for the North Stars.

Gnidziejko faced 34 shots against in defeat for Fort Frances who fell to 9-10 on the campaign.

Photo credit: Leith Dunick,