North Stars put Norskies on the ropes

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – Turner Santin had a goal and two assists to help lead the Thunder Bay North Stars to 4-1 victory over the Thief River Falls Norskies Sunday night in Game 4 of their Superior International Junior Hockey League semifinal at the Fort William Gardens.

With the result Thunder Bay now leads this best-of-seven series 3-1 with Game 5 set for Monday evening at 7 p.m. CT at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls.

After making a couple of quality stops earlier in the first period, the Norskies would open the scoring at 18:54 as Connor Bowey let a shot go that fooled North Stars’ netminder Brandon Bodnar from a sharp angle.

However picking up a power play off a scrum after the visitor’s marker, Thunder Bay came right back to notch the equalizer a mere nine seconds later as Bradley Thrower snapped a shot under the blocker of Thief River Falls starter Jackson Nelson.

The North Stars would secure the eventual game-winner off the stick of SIJHL rookie of the year Keighan Gerrie midway through the contest as he quickly let loose a shot off a Kyle Auger drop pass that found it’s way under the pad of Nelson.

Ryan Mignault added to the home side’s lead late in the second as he took a cross-ice feed from Santin, waited, then whipped one high that found its way in to make it a 3-1 game after 40 minutes.

The hosts then added some insurance with just under eight minutes to go in the third as Santin was robbed by a splendid save by Nelson but scooped up his own rebound and chipped it in over the pad to conclude the night’s scoring.

Auger and Joe Newhouse both added two assists each in the triumph.

Thunder Bay out shot Thief River Falls 48-33 on the night with Bodnar picking up the win while Jackson suffered the loss.

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SIJHL Playoffs

Series D
Semifinal series
No. 2 Thief River Falls Norskies vs. No. 3 Thunder Bay North Stars
Thunder Bay leads best-of-seven series 3-1
Game 1: Thief River Falls 2 Thunder Bay 1
Game 2: Thunder Bay 2 Thief River Falls 0
Game 3: Thunder Bay 5 Thief River Falls 2
Game 4: Thunder Bay 4 Thief River Falls 2
Game 5: Monday, April 9 @ Thief River Falls 7 p.m. CT (Ralph Engelstad Arena)
Game 6*: Wednesday, April 11 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m. ET (Fort William Gardens)
Game 7*: Thursday, April 12 @ Thief River Falls 7 p.m. CT (Ralph Engelstad Arena)
*- if necessary

Photo credit: Leith Dunick,