Thief River Falls will head into the Superior International Junior Hockey League holiday break on a high note. The first-year Junior A club took three of four points from league leader Thunder Bay during a weekend series at the Fort Williams Gardens to move past English River into third place in the six-team SIJHL standing.
The North Stars won a 4-3 Friday match-up in overtime. Although they lost, the Norskies did pick up a league point for forcing the extra session.
It was another close one Saturday, this time in Thief River Falls’ favor, 3-2.
Weekend results dropped Thunder Bay to second place behind Dryden in the SIJHL point standings.
Twenty-nine games into a 56-game regular season the Norskies are 12-17.
Alec Daman scored two Thief River Falls Friday goals, with Michael Johnson picking up the third marker.
Thunder Bay tied it on a power play goal by Brendan Gillis at 15:39 of the third period and won it on a Jake Robinson goal at 1:08 of overtime.
Keaton Huot, Mitchell Soderberg and Johnson scored the goals Saturday when the Norskies grabbed a 2-0 first period lead. Thunder Bay rallied for a 2-2 tie before Huot came up with what would be the game-winner at 19:29 of the third period.
A 39-save performance by Thief River Falls goalie Ryan Buttazzoni kept the North Stars at bay.
The SIJHL will be idle until Jan. 3.
Thunder Bay 4, TRF 3 (ot)
First period – TRF, Alec Daman (Parker Simonson), Jared Pederson, 11:03.
Second period – TB, Troy Sherman (Tyler Minoletti, Hayden Johnston), 16:17.
Third period – TRF, Daman (Christian Bundschuh, Connor Bowey), 2:38; TB, Minoletti, Jake Robinson, Sherman), 2:48; TRF, Michael Johnson (Dalton Johnson), 10:03; TB, Brendan Gillis (Joe Newhouse, Ryan Walsh), 15:39.
Overtime – TB, Robinson, Aaron Wesley-Chisel, Brendan Gillis), 1:08.
Goalie saves – TRF, Ryan Buttazzoni 33; TB, Nathaniel Dupuis 10, Jordan Elliot 27.
Penalties – TRF 14 (30 minutes); TB 11 (22 minutes).
Attendance – 325.
TRF 3, Thunder Bay 2
First period – TRF, Mitchell Soderberg (Keaton Huot), 6:17; TRF, Michael Johnson (Blair Lindholm), 15:49.
Second period – TB, Tyler Minoletti (Jonathan Masters, Ryan Walsh), 7:36; TB, Brendan Gillis (Brett Wolframe, Joe Newhouse), 10:13; TRF, Keaton Huot (Dalton Johnson), 19:29.
Goalie saves – TRF, Ryan Buttazzoni 39; TB, Jordan Elliot 41.
Penalties – TRF 8 (16 minutes); TB 9 (16 minutes).
Attendance – 400.