THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. – A Jack Michels marker on a partial break with 33 seconds remaining in the second period held up as the game-winner as the Thief River Falls Norskies went on to defeat the Thunder Bay North Stars 5-3 Saturday in Superior International Junior Hockey League action in front of 927 spectators at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
After also winning Friday night, Thief River Falls also opened the scoring, as Connor Kalthoff’s impressive end-to-end rush saw him bury his 11 of the season 10:45 into the contest.
Thunder Bay drew level just over a minute later when Cody Bruchkowski wired in his 40th goal of the season to knot the affair at 1-1 after one.
Bruchkowski then snapped in his second of the night and league-leading 41st as he connected from the left side to put the guests in front 2:38 into the middle session.
Countering, the Norskies drew level a couple of shifts later as defenceman Zach Ross moved to the slot and snapped in his third of the campaign.
Joe Collins then put the home side back on top at 5:24 only to see Bruchkowski set-up Nikolas Campbell for his 16th at 16:49 to tie the score once more.
Then with time winding down in the period, Michels drove hard to net from the left wing and neatly tucked the eventual difference maker through the legs of Thunder Bay netminder Seth McKay.
Moving on to late in regulation, the North Stars were shorthanded, but pulled McKay for another skater, however Justin Schwartzmiller secured the victory with an empty netter in the final minute to round out the night’s scoring.
Tyler Johnson dished out a pair of assists for TRF in the triumph while Maxime Fortin had a couple of helpers for Thunder Bay in defeat.
The Norskies also held the edge in shots on goal by a 59-35 count with Caleb Sauer getting the win while McKay suffered the loss.
Photo credit: Tim Benton