THUNDER BAY – Sports – An enthusiastic crowd nearing 1000 fans are at the Fort William Gardens set to cheer on the Thunder Bay North Stars. The Stars have their backs against the wall tonight being three games down in the best of seven series against the Wisconsin Wilderness.
The game got off to a fast pace, with the North Stars getting four shots on net in the first five minutes.
The Thunder Bay International Airport Authority Inc. Dudley Hewitt Cup is the next stop for the North Stars regardless of tonight’s game, but the team wants to make it to the tournament on their own merit.
The team seems more fired up tonight in the early going, making some strong plays and offering some solid hitting.
North Stars goalie Marc Norter seems to be on his game tonight.
Some sloppy play in front of the net, where two North Stars ended up falling led to a Wilderness goal with 3:35 left in the first period. The goal was scored by #22 Clarke Anderson.
With one minute left in the first period, the North Stars Brandon Wolframe wouldn’t step back from Clark Anderson. Both players were off to the penalty box for two penalties each of four minutes.
Second Period Action: The second period has got off to a fast start. The North Stars appear to be focused on the reality of tonights game, and are playing without the signs of pressure. The Stars outplayed the Wilderness in the First Period, but couldn’t grab the breaks.
The Wilderness snagged goal two of the game at the 1:58 minute of the second period.
Goal was scored by #11 Mike Deitrich.
The Wilderness forechecking through the second period has impacted the speed the North Stars have been able to move the puck forward into the offensive zone. The Stars have started to take the body more, and the game is getting more physical, however it is a hard, but clean hitting game.
The North Stars #25 BJ Pirus was called for roughing at 7:48. The Wilderness tried hard to put up another goal, but the North Stars penalty killing was bang on for the penalty although #19 Calabrese of the Wilderness was the victim of a bit of a cheap shot.
Pirus of the North Stars once her returned to the bench after the penalty was visibly angry. and left the bench area. Fans ended up taunting the player a little over the show.
The Stars need a goal to get back in the game.
Mitchell Fox of the North Stars got nabbed for high sticking at 11:44, once again putting the pressure on the penalty killing of the Stars.
The North Stars finally get to go on the power play at 16:05 with #5 Patrick Hurley getting sent to the sin bin for hooking.
#19, Calabrese stopped a slapshot and appeared to injure himself, and left the bench for medical attention.
With 30 seconds left in the power play the Stars set up for a shot at scoring and came up short. The North Stars players are starting to show signs of frunstration, they are outshooting and for the most part outplaying the Wilderness, but not getting the breaks that their play might merit.
The third period could be more chippy if the frustration grows.
With 11 seconds left in the period, Wilderness playd #5 Hurley was called for high sticking and North Stars Isaac Howarth was called for roughing.
THIRD Period Action: The North Stars are twenty minutes away from a month’s rest before the Dudley Hewitt Cup.
The players are all standing at the bench, none of the players are looking like it is over. All the North Stars need is an early goal to get back in the game.
The period is off to a physical start, with the North Stars taking to the offense.
The North Stars are onto the power play on a high sticking call as #24 Austin Bevilacqua is off for high sticking at the 3:22 mark.
The Stars are working hard, but just not getting the sharp passing needed to get the puck moving.
The Wilderness goalie got sloppy and the North Stars got the goal they needed. The Power Play goal was scored by #11 Sam Dubinsky assisted by #23 Brandon Wolframe and and #28 Mathew Alexander.
The goal has fired up the Stars and the fans.
The Stars responded by popping the puck into the net again #18 Quinn Remple scored the goal assisted by #23 Brandon Wolframe and #11 Sam Dubinsky tying the game with ten minutes left in regulation.
The Wilderness responded at 9:58 with a goal by #9 Jordan Sharkley to take the lead again.
The Stars are taking the game to the Wilderness, seeking to tie the game up. The line of Wolframe, Dubinsky and Rempel have been the stars for the Stars in the third period.
The Wilderness scored to go ahead 4-2 at the 16:02 mark with a goal by #27 Nick Drill.
With two minutes left, the Stars pulled the goalie, and are pushing hard in the Wilderness zone.
The Wilderness capitalized with an empty net goal with 47 seconds left, #22 Clark Anderson put the ‘icing on the cake’ in an unassisted effort.
NetNewsledger was updating live from the Fort William Gardens throughout tonight’s game.