Piper picks up 4 as Norskies knock off Miners

HOYT LAKES, Minn. – The Thief River Falls Norskies picked four second period goals from Brett Piper to help send his side to an eventual 7-2 victory over the Red Lake Miners Wednesday evening in Day 2 play at the Superior International Junior Hockey League Showcase at Hoyt Lakes Arena.

Thief River Falls opened the scoring 15 minutes into the match-up working the cycle that eventually helped Nick Harder to wrist one high from the left side over Red Lake starter Vince Benedetto.

The Norskies then went up by a pair early in the middle stanza off a set-up play following a face-off win deep in Miners territory that eventually saw Piper stuff in the rebound off a Connor Bowey chance.

It was more Piper midway through the game as he deftly redirected a Jacob Schuldt shot from the left point that trickled through Benedetto and in.

Kyle Uzelman would put the Miners on the board at 13:47 as he banked one in front the right of Thief River Falls goalkeeper Bailey Schmitz to make 3-1.

However, Piper’s big period continued as he tacked on two more in rapid succession to give him four in the frame and 24 on the year to extend his club’s cushion.

Action in the third saw Schuldt cap off a four-point outing as they tallied twice, including one on a splendid individual rush at 17:24.

Stratton Pickett then added one late for Red Lake in the final minute to round of the scoring.

The Miners did hold the edge in shots on goal by a 30-27 count with Schmitz picking up the win while Benedetto suffered the loss.

With the victory the Norskies improved to 22-13-3-1 on the season and moved to within four points of the 25-13-2-0 Miners in the race for second place in the SIJHL standings while also holding a game in hand.