Thunder Bay North Stars Take on Soo Thunderbirds

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brandon wolframe - Thunder Bay North Stars photo James MirabelliTHUNDER BAY – Sports – The 2012 Dudley Hewitt Cup is providing Thunder Bay with some exciting hockey action. Tonight your Thunder Bay North Stars are hoping to play bad host to the Soo Thunderbirds.

The North Stars are coming off a tough loss last night with an overtime 2-1 loss to the Stouffville Spirit.

Gametime is 7:30PM tonight there is time to get down to the gardens and watch the game.

The Wisconsin Wilderness got a pair of tallies from Mike Dietrich and rode the 40-save performance of Tanner Milliron to defeat the Stouffville Spirit 5-2 in day 2 play at the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canadian Junior A Hockey Championship taking place in Thunder Bay.

A fast-paced first period saw the two sides exchange premier chances, including Wisconsin’s Patrick Hurley who rang one off the left post with seven minutes remaining in the opening session.

Both Jonathon Hall in the Stouffville net and Wisconsin’s Milliron took turns making huge saves to keep the game scoreless.

Wisconsin did open the scoring with 2:25 remaining in the session as Shane Topf outmuscled a Spirit defender in a race for the puck and worked it over to Nick Drill who calmly fired the puck into the open side.

Moments later Milliron, the Superior International Jr. Hockey League’s top goaltender award recipient this season, stoned Stouffville’s Chris Porter in his bid for the equalizer as he dove across to his left taking away what appeared to be a sure goal.

Porter would not be denied on his next opportunity however as he stuffed in the equalizer from in close midway through second, converting on the Spirit’s third power play opportunity of the contest.

The man advantage put the SIJHL champion Wilderness back on top as Dietrich one-timed a cross-ice pass from Anthony Calabrese and wired it past Hall at 14:29.

With the two sides playing four skaters to three in Wisconsin’s favour, Hurley unleashed a blast from the right point that beat Hall cleanly 93 seconds later.

The Wilderness then extended their cushion to 4-1 seven minutes into the final stanza courtesy of captain Andrew Anderson.

Stouffville, the Ontario Jr. Hockey League title holders, cut into the deficit with 8:53 remaining as Porter redirected a Paul Geiger wrist shot from the blueline while on the power play, but Dietrich answered right back for Wisconsin as he stormed down the right wing and ripped one top shelf to round out the scoring.

Shots on goal favoured the Spirit 42-24 in the contest with both teams’ record going to 1-1 with the result.

Earning RBK player of the game laurels for Wisconsin was Milliron while Porter was recognized for the Spirit.

NNL coverage with help from the Superior Junior International Hockey League.

You are watching the Warm-ups from Fort William Gardens:

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Photography by James Mirabelli

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