Overtime Heroics Keep North Stars Season Alive

By Gary Moskalyk

Thunder Bay, ON – Thunder Bay staved off elimination with an exciting 6-5 overtime win over Sioux Lookout. Cohen Tangedal got the game winner at 17:02 of extra time, and Ben Laurette stopped 30 of 32 in relief of Keenan Marks to secure the victory. 

The beauty of sports was on full display as the North Stars battled back from 3-1 and 5-3 deficits, avenging Monday’s heartbreaking loss with the series-extending win. Tyler Jordan scored with less than a minute left with Laurette on the bench for an extra attacker to tie the game at five-all.

Easton Mikus converted EJ Paddington’s failed wrap around to open the scoring at 4:50 of the first. Cobe Delaney, Jonah Smith and Owen Riffel scored for Sioux Lookout in a 3:15 span to take a 3-1 Bomber lead. Delaney went high blocker on Marks for his 5th at 10:34. Riffel’s zone entry shot into the Stars’ zone caught a jutting seam in the boards and caromed right to Smith, who fired into a wide open cage for his 6th of the playoffs. Riffel got his 5th on a Sioux Lookout power play, going high over Marks’ shoulder.

Thunder Bay swapped out Marks for Laurette to start the second.

The teams traded two goals each in the second. Edison Weeks tightened the score to 3-2, finding a hole through Jack Osmond from a tough angle for his 7th playoff marker. Tangedal got his first of the postseason, depositing a point shot from Garren Voisey on an Osmond rebound.

Connor Burke re-established a one-goal Bomber lead at 6:54, and Riffel put Sioux Lookout up by two again, collecting on a Smith’s rebound for his 6th at 11:27 for a 5-3 edge.

Thunder Bay fought back to tie it with two goals in the third. Mikus got his second of the game and 6th of the playoffs on a one-timer on a Thunder Bay power play at 8:41 to narrow the lead to one. Jordan scored his 6th on a deflection with assists from Cameron Dial’s (his 12th helper) and Paddington’s 7th assist at 19:06 to knot the score at five-all.

Tangedal tipped in Lucas Bailey’s shot at 17:02 of overtime, setting off a wild celebration.

Thunder Bay outshot the Bombers 55-38. Marks faced six shots in the first. Osmond took his first loss of the playoffs, shunting aside 49. 

Mikus and Tangedal had two goals each for Thunder Bay, with Paddington and Dial collecting a pair of helpers each. Riffel had two goals and an assist to lead Sioux Lookout. Smith had a goal and two assists, and Connor Burke had a goal and a helper.

The Stars were 1-4 on the power play, while Sioux Lookout was 1-2. The Bombers took four minor penalties to Thunder Bay’s two. Attendance was 692.

Game five is in Sioux Lookout on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. CDT.