By Gary Moskalyk
Thunder Bay, ON – There’s a new team atop the SIJHL standings. The Thunder Bay North Stars erupted for four third period goals to defeat the Red Lake Miners 4-2 at Fort William Gardens before 310 fans. The win extended Thunder Bay’s unbeaten streak to 13 games. They last lost in regulation time on October 7th.
Gavin McIntosh fed Andrew Sikora a breakaway pass and the Miners’ forward beat Keenan Marks for his second of the year to open the scoring at 1:54 of the first. The Stars outshot Red Lake 19-4 in the first frame.
That was it for scoring until the third.
Miners’ goaltender Ethan Neitsch stoned Thunder Bay shooters for 45 minutes before Cohen Tangedahl got his stick on a puck and deflected it through Neitsch’s legs to tied it at 5:01 of the third. Edison Weeks put the Stars ahead at 7:58 on a wrap around for his 11th.
Aiden Corbett’s backhander on a rebound eluded Marks as the Miners tied it at two-all mid-period. With overtime looming EJ Paddington got the game winning marker with 2:30 remaining on a one-timer from the high slot–his 12th of the year.
Marks got an “11 out of 10” from North Stars’ broadcaster Nikolai Wataja for a glove save made late in the game on a Miners’ shot destined to tie it up. A pair of Stars’ defenders and Marks somehow kept the disc from crossing the line.
Tyler Jordan collected a rebound off the backboards and scored an empty-netter from a fairly sharp angle with 36 seconds left to round out the scoring.
There were no penalties in the first period, five minors in the second, and a late one in the third as both teams stuck to hockey. Red Lake was 0-3, Thunder Bay 0-1 in their limited powerplay chances.
Paddington, Tangedahl and Jordan all had two point nights for Thunder Bay.
Marks tied Ashton Sadauskas of Kam River with his 9th win. Hard luck Neitsch saw his record drop to 2-4-1 despite a lights out performance. His goals against went up to 2.12 after stopping 39 but letting in three. Marks faced just 20 in the North Stars’ net.