Thunder Bay Kings off to Slow Start in Blaine Michigan

Thunder Bay Kings Hockey

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – Both the Thunder Bay Happy Time Tours major midget and Sportop minor midget Kings dropped their opening games in North American Prospects Hockey League play Thursday in Blaine, Minn.

The majors fell 3-1 to Team Illinois while the minor were edged 3-2, in overtime, by the Minnesota Walleye.

The under-18 contest saw Thunder Bay collect the lone marker of the first period as Hayden Cattani stuffed in the rebound off of attempts by teammates Bryson Cataldo and Mason Bazaluk at 11:34.

Illinois drew level with the lone marker of the middle stanza to send the match-up tied at 1-1 heading into the third.

There Nico Schoner collected the game-winner with 8:36 to go as he darted up ice, slipped around a Kings defender, cut right and lifted the puck over the glove of Kings netminder Eric Vanska.

Team Illinois then added some insurance five minutes later off a nice deflection in front from a right point shot.

The majors are back at it Friday at 2:15 p.m. as they take on the Illinois U-18 High School Showcase side.

Meanwhile in minor midget action, Cashen Naeve collected the game-winner 2:02 into overtime helping the Walleye pull out the decision over the Kings.

After going scoreless through two periods of play, Jett Mintenko put Thunder Bay in front during an early man advantage marker in the third.

Minnesota countered with tallies 39 seconds apart to take the lead only to see Nolan Height tie it with less than five minutes remaining in regulation to help force OT.

However, the Walleye pulled it out in extra time to give them the win.

Thunder Bay Keenan Marks was in goal in OT the setback.

Next up for the minor midgets will be a 6 p.m. encounter with the Minneapolis Lakers.