North Stars Sweep Lumberjacks

By Gary Moskalyk

Thunder Bay, ON – Another hard-fought game went Thunder Bay’s way as the North Stars defeated Wisconsin 4-2 at Fort William Gardens. Ben Laurette made his second start stopping 35 for his second win, and EJ Paddington became the second player with 50 points with a goal and two assists as the Stars recorded their 7th win in a row. The win coupled with Kam River’s loss to Red Lake gives Thunder Bay a share of second place with 47 points. 

Forward Christian Rapp made his Thunder Bay debut a successful one with a second period goal that turned out to be the game winner.  

Once again Wisconsin hit the scoresheet first. Koen Burkholder tucked in a rebound at 3:32 of the first for his 5th. Thunder Bay outshot the Lumberjacks 17-10 in the initial frame but it wasn’t until 19:41 when they tied it up. Easton Mikus tied Sioux Lookout’s Owen Riffel for the league lead in goals, doing it from behind the net by banking the puck off goalie Riley Burnett and in for his 24th.

Paddington gave the Stars a 2-1 lead at 6:51 of the second frame with a snipe over Burnett’s shoulder. Wisconsin’s Collin Baker jumped on a rebound in the blue paint to tie it up at 14:54.

Rapp scored from the high slot 47 seconds later to give the Stars a 3-2 lead.

Edison Weeks gave the Stars a little insurance, swatting home his 20th early in the third period. Both goalies shut the door from there. Thunder Bay was able to maintain enough pressure to keep Burnett in his net in the closing stages.

Cameron Dial collected two assists for the Stars. Marshall Thomas had two helpers for Wisconsin. Burnett made 38 saves for the Jacks.

Wisconsin was shut out in four powerplay chances and Thunder Bay was 0-3. There were seven minor penalties assessed.

Attendance was 492.