Thunder Bay tops Thief River Falls for 12th consecutive victory

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. – Joel Willan picked up his 20th goal of the season and also added three assists to help lead the Thunder Bay North Stars to their 12th consecutive Superior International Junior Hockey League victory Saturday, a 6-2 triumph over the Thief River Falls Norskies at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Thief River Falls did open the night’s scoring 3:23 into the contest on Owen Lee’s fifth of the campaign.

Thunder Bay countered with the equalizer late in the first period on a Jacob Brown effort.

The North Stars then came out quickly in the middle session to go in front as Kyle Auger buried his 19th 29 seconds in.

Special teams then helped Thunder Bay tack on two more as Josh Bryant and Michael Stubbs both connected on the power play to put the visitors up 4-1 after 40 minutes.

A two-man advantage in the third aided in the Norskies pulling to within two as Tate Steffan pumped one past North Stars’ netminder Brock Aiken from the high slot.

However, Willan added some insurance for Thunder Bay at 13:15 before Jacob Anttonen capped off the road win and extended the North Stars winning streak.

Keighan Gerrie dished out a trio of assists in the decision while Brown had a pair of helpers in the triumph.

Aiken finished with 32 stops to record the win for Thunder Bay while Bailey Schmitz faced 33 attempts in defeat.

Photo credit: Tim Benton