1st place Norskies sink Lakers

FORT FRANCES, Ont. – The Superior International Junior Hockey League-leading Thief River Falls Norskies continue to thrive as they got three points apiece from Parker Simonson and Jared Pedersen to help them sink the Fort France Lakers 7-3 Friday night at Ice for Kids Arena.

Thief River Falls started strong as they stormed out a 3-0 lead after one period of play on shorthanded markers by Pedersen and Christian Larson, which was surrounded by an even strength effort off the stick of Bjorge.

Opting to replace starter Ismael Ralston in favour Brett Akins to begin the second stanza did not help the Lakers’ fortunes as Bjorge greeted the new Fort Frances netminder 64 seconds into the session to make 4-0.

Mitchell Soderberg’s ninth added to the Norskies cushion later in the frame before Ian Jarvis got one back for Fort Frances on the next shift.

Heading into the third, Thief River Falls saw Simonson supply his SIJHL-leading 22nd tally of the season six minutes into the period.

The Lakers did get a couple back from Jaedin Ness and Carter Chorney, but Simonson finished things off with his league-best 23rd overall during a power play to round out the scoring.

Michael Johnson joined Pedersen with two assists in the victory.

Bailey Schmitz improved to 9-0 on the season making 33 saves along the way in the win.

Ralsten stopped eight of 11 in one period of work with Akins suffering the loss in relief as he handled 20 of the 24 attempts fired his way.

Photo credit: Clint Bruyere