Photos by James MirabelliTHUNDER BAY – SPORTS – In Semi-Final action at Fort William Gardens, the Dudley Hewitt Cup continues to offer amazingly great hockey. The Soo Thunder Birds got off to an early start to the game with a long wrist shot that somehow got past the North Stars goalie. However the Stars brightened the applause of the fans getting off a quick return goal to tie things up.

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The pace of the first period was quite fast.

The North Stars found penalty problems and it cost them with 5:07 left in the first period at the Soo Thunderbirds capitalized. Goal escaped the glove hand of North Stars goalies and Matt Amadio scored on the powerplay assisted by Kevin Michelcavage.

The North Stars are playing a little apprehensively, and taking some penalties which is costing them on the scoreboard.

At 17:48 of the first period, Sam Dubinsky got sent to the sin bin for roughing.

The crowd of Soo Thunderbird supporters are helping their team a lot.

Score at the end of the first period of action the score is 3-1.

Photos by James Mirabelli

Soo Thunderbirds – Kevin Michelcavage (Brett Campbell) 5:57
Thunder Bay North Stars – Sam Dubinsky (powerplay) (Tyler Osborne) 7:15
Soo Thunderbirds – Matt Amadio (powerplay) (Kevin Michelcavage) 14:53
Soo Thunderbirds – Jake Wright (Nick Romano, Josh Hicks) 16:34

PENALTIES – Period 1:

Soo Thunderbirds – Micky Sartoretto – (Hooking) (HKG), 2 min, 6:39
Thunder Bay North Stars – Matthew Alexander – (Cross Checking) (CC), 2 min, 13:26
Thunder Bay North Stars – Sam Dubinsky – (Roughing) (RO), 2 min, 17:48

The second period has featured back and forth action with the Soo Thunderbirds controlling the play in the North Stars end of the ice.

However North Stars goalie Marc Nother has been keeping the team in the game. Early in the period there were two excellent scoring opportunities for the Thunderbirds, but a great toe save and a good hot glove hand kept the game from going out of control on the Star in a hurry.

The North Stars have seemed a little tentative in their play.

At 8:23 however the North Stars were caught as Thunderbirds Captain Micky Sartoretto put a show past Marc Nother. The North Stars goalie seemed to be having to take a bigger role clearing the puck than he needed to.

However the North Stars are not willing to give up. With 6:35 left in the period, the Stars popped the puck into the net. Brennen Dubchak marked the goal.

However only 39 seconds later the Thunderbirds built on their lead adding another goal by Brent Campbell.

With five minutes left in the second period, the Thunderbirds are leading the North Stars by ten shots on goal – 26-16.

The game is likely to start getting more physical as the North Stars work to get back in this game. With 4:23 left in the period the North Stars Michael Orosey was hit with an elbowing penalty that brought fans to their feet in protest.

The big lanky Thunderbirds Captain enjoyed several good scoring opportunities, but Nother turned him away. The penalty killers did their job well killing off the elbowing penalty.

The North Stars are going to need to rally for the third period. They are going to need three to tie and four to win.

Period 2 Scoring:
Soo Thunderbirds – Micky Sartoretto (Jake Wright, Nick Romano) 11:37
Thunder Bay North Stars – Brennen Dubchak (Matt Kaarela, Bryce Knapp) 13:25
Soo Thunderbirds – Brett Campbell (Kevin Michelcavage, Derek Battagin) 14:11

Soo Thunderbirds – Micky Sartoretto – (Hooking) (HKG), 2 min, 6:39
Thunder Bay North Stars – Matthew Alexander – (Cross Checking) (CC), 2 min, 13:26
Thunder Bay North Stars – Sam Dubinsky – (Roughing) (RO), 2 min, 17:48

The North Stars needed an early goal to climb back into the game, they got it 1:20 into the period as Quinn Rempel assisted by Sam Dubinsky and B.J. Pirus.
That was followed up quickly by a big hit on a Soo player that left him leveled on the ice and the North Stars back in the sin bin.
North Stars have started to really throw their weight around, as Kyle Lapenskie worked the ice and worked over the Soo Thunderbirds players.
The North Stars continued to climb into the game however, and at 14:48 on a grinder goal, the Stars have climbed back as – Brandon Warmington assisted by Matt Kaarela and Brennen Dubchak which pulled the hometown favourites within a marker.

The hard hitting style is starting to frustrate some of the Soo players as they are complaining to the referees over the punishment they are getting.

However the Thunderbirds are also staying in the game, with 13:30 left in the period they scored a goal taking the two goal lead again.

The Soo players seem to be quite good at drawing the attention of the referees. A solid check by Brandon Wolframe led to the Soo player sprawling on the ice until the ref called him for tripping.

At the half-way mark of the period, the game is seeing some big hits from the North Stars.
The North Stars penalty killing is going strong but it is far harder to score goals short handed.

However the hard hitting action is paying off as the North Stars scored to narrow the gap again. A goal by Michael Orosey assisted byKyle Lapenskie brought the Stars back to within a goal.

With six minutes left in the period it is going to take an all out effort by the Stars, with 5:21 the Soo Thunderbirds pulled ahead by two again on a goal by to take a 7-5 lead. Joey Couture assisted by Greg Sartoretto.

A group of solid North Stars fans have picked up the cheer “Let’s Go North Stars” and are hammering their Thunder Sticks from the RBC on the glass behind the bench.

The Soo Thunderbirds are leading but are also showing some frustration too. Brandon Wolframe was smacked in the face by and cut. That has led to a four minute power play that the North Stars must capitalize on or their Dudley Hewitt series is over.
With 1:31 left in the period, the North Stars pulled the goal, nine seconds later the Soo Thunderbirds put the game on ice with an empty netter scored short-handed.

Final score 8-5 for the Thunderbirds

Period 3
Thunder Bay North Stars – Quinn Rempel (Sam Dubinsky, B.J. Pirus) 1:20
Thunder Bay North Stars – Brandon Warmington (Matt Kaarela, Brennen Dubchak) 5:12
Soo Thunderbirds – Joey Couture (Nick Romano) 6:30
Thunder Bay North Stars – Michael Orosey (Kyle Lapenskie) 11:23
Soo Thunderbirds – Matt Amadio (Greg Sartoretto, Joey Couture) 14:39
Soo Thunderbirds – Cody Zorzi (shorthanded) (Josh Hicks, Brett Campbell) 18:38

Period 3 Penalties:
Thunder Bay North Stars – Kyle Lapenskie – (Boarding) (BDG), 2 min, 1:37
Thunder Bay North Stars – Brandon Wolframe – (Tripping) (TR), 2 min, 8:36
Soo Thunderbirds – Greg Sartoretto – (Roughing Double Minor) (RO), 4 min, 16:39

Photos by James Mirabelli

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