North Stars skate to 8th straight victory with win over Miners

FORT FRANCES, Ont. –Thunder Bay North Stars ran their Superior International Junior Hockey League winning streak to eight straight games Wednesday afternoon as they defeated the English River Miners 5-2 at the SIJHL Showcase at Ice for Kids Arena in Fort Frances.

Thunder Bay opened the scoring 5:44 into the contest as Turner Santin supplied his third tally since being acquired by the club earlier this month.

English River countered though as Spencer Milne notched the equalizer, during a man advantage opportunity, less than three minutes later.

The North Stars went back in front on an early second period power play with Avery Siau stuffing in a rebound off a Keighan Gerrie attempt, 82 seconds into the session.

Going back up a man themselves, the Miners tied things up for a second time shortly after that as Mark Ziobro deflected a Kyle Rosolowsi point shot.

Gerrie, the SIJHL’s leading point producer among rookies, added to his offensive totals by snapping his 19th goal from the left face-off circle that found its way through English River starter Westin Cardwell.

Thunder Bay then went up by two early into the final frame as Santin sent Ryan Mignault in alone on a breakaway and he made no mistake as he lifted a shot high over the blocker of Cardwell at 1:43.

After that marker, the Miners opted to replace their goalkeeper with back-up Michael Lenko, who went the rest of the way in relief.

The North Stars then capped off the victory in the late going as Santin finished off a three-point game by wiring one top shelf from the slot at 17:45.

Siau also had a three-point afternoon with two assists to go with his goal while Brendan Gillis had a couple of helpers as well.

Brandon Bodnar made 33 saves to record the win for Thunder Bay.

Cardwell suffered the loss allowing four on 24 attempts while Lenko handled seven of eight in over 17 minutes of work.

The North Stars are back at it Friday and Saturday as they host the rival Dryden GM Ice Dogs in a pair of 7:30 p.m. starts at the Fort William Gardens.

Next up the league-leading Thief River Falls Norskies take on the Minnesota Iron Rangers at 4:15 p.m. before the SIJHL Showcase concludes with the Fort Frances Lakers taking on the Dryden GM Ice Dogs at 7:30 p.m.

Photo credit: Clint Bruyere