THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. – Keegan Tiringer tallied twice, including the eventual game-winner six and a half minutes into the third period, as the Red Lake Miners pulled out a 3-2 victory over the Thief River Falls Norskies Monday evening in Game 3 of their Superior International Junior Hockey League semifinal at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
With the result, Red Lake now leads the best-of-seven match-up 2-1 with Game 4 slated for Tuesday night back at ‘The Ralph’ at 7 p.m.
A late power play in the first frame helped Thief River Falls open the scoring at 18:07 as Mason McMintosh snapped one past Red Lake starter Zach Willms, from the slot, with assists going to Boe Bjorge and Alec Serverson.
The Miners answered early in the second stanza after Kyle Uzelman forced a turnover and fed Tiringer, who darted in between the circles, and wired one top shelf on Bailey Schmitz in the Norskies’ net.
Red Lake then tacked on another at 17:09 as Shaye Sommerfeld won a draw back to Sean Gula to the right point who put one towards the net that that was deftly redirected by Sommerfeld as he got enough of the puck to cause it to change direction and slip past the TRF goalkeeper.
It was more Miners in the third with Tiringer connecting once more as he wired one over Schmitz’s shoulder from the left of the net to put the visitors up by a pair with help from Bryce Young and Dante Tisi.
Battling back, Thief River Falls moved back to within one with 4:47 to go as they pressured Red Lake and Willms without his stick, could not control the rebound of a Connor Bowey shot that allowed Blake Nelson to stuff one in from close range.
The Norskies pulled Schmitz with 1:46 remaining for an extra attacker and pressed for the equalizer as they tried to force overtime, but the Miners held firm the rest of the way to secure the road decision.
Thief River Falls held a big edge in shots on goal, holding a 45-25 advantage, but Willms’ 43-save effort saw him record the victory while Schmitz suffered the setback.
All SIJHL playoff contests are streamed live online and on demand at HockeyTV.com.
No. 2 Red Lake Miners vs. No. 3 Thief River Falls Norskies
Red Lake leads best-of-seven series 2-1
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: Tuesday, April 2 @ Thief River Falls 7 p.m. (Ralph Engelstad Arena)
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