THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. – The Red Lake Miners duo of Kyle Uzelman and Keegan Tiringer collected four points apiece to help lead their side to a 5-1 victory over the Thief River Falls Norskies Tuesday night in Game 4 of their Superior International Junior Hockey League semifinal at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
With the win, Red Lake now leads the best-of-seven set 3-1 and will have an opportunity to close out the series Friday on home ice at 7:30 p.m. as they host Game 5 at Cochenour Arena.
It was the hometown Norskies that opened this night’s scoring, eight minutes in, as Zach Ross carried the puck down the length of the ice as he skated down the left side then wheeled around the net and stuffed it in before Red Lake netminder Zach Willms could get across to stop it.
The Miners answered late in the frame with Tucker Evans chopping one over to Ryan Patterson to set up a two-on-one that saw Keilan Toews go in an wire a shot into the top right hand corner to level the proceedings at a goal apiece after one.
Red Lake added another early in the second stanza as Uzelman won a race to the puck with a Thief River Falls defender and managed to chip one in from close range to put the visitors in front at 2:11.
Going to the power play, the Miners added another in the session as Uzelman put an attempt toward the goal that hit the skate of Tiringer and came right back to him as he promptly buried his chance by notching his second of the evening and third of the playoffs.
It was more Red Lake later in the period as they countered on transition once more with Uzelman putting a pass on the tape of Tiringer, who in turn lifted one high on Schmitz at 14:42.
They then added some insurance with a man advantage effort in the third as Uzelman finished off a hat trick by ripping one over the glove and bulging the twine at 6:13 to round out the scoring.
While Tiringer dished out three assists on the night, SIJHL MVP Bryce Young and teammate Tucker Evans had a pair of helpers each in the triumph.
The Miners also held the edge in shots on goal by a 34-27 margin with Willms posting the win and Schmitz the loss.
Red Lake Miners Thief River Falls Norskies
Miners leads best-of-seven series 3-1
Game 1: Thief River Falls 5 Red Lake 4 (OT)
Game 2: Red Lake 5 Thief River Falls 2
Game 3: Red Lake 3 Thief River Falls 2
Game 4: Red Lake 5 Thief River Falls 1
Game 5: Friday, April 5 @ Red Lake 7:30 p.m. (Cochenour Arena)
Game 6*: Sunday, April 7 @ Thief River Falls 7 p.m. (Ralph Engelstad Arena)
Game 7*: Tuesday, April 9 @ Red Lake 7:30 p.m. (Cochenour Arena)
Photo credit: Tim Benton