THUNDER BAY – SIJHL Hockey – The Thunder Bay North Stars take to the ice tonight in a re-match of last night’s game against the Minnesota Iron Rangers.
The team is coming off a tough loss on Friday night. The 6-3 loss came after the team got off to an early lead.
The North Stars are warming up and looking focused and determined.
Tonight the Iron Rangers are without their Captain Trevor Hoth who is out with a shoulder injury. Coach Krunkkala says he might be out for up to two months.
North Star forward Cory Lacosse is out for three games as a suspension over that hit.
The North Stars are down two other players going into tonight’s match. Injuries are taking a toll on the team.
The Thunder Bay North Stars are starting #34 Jayme Brattengeier in goal.
First Period Action
The game is underway with the North Stars taking the action into the Iron Ranger’s zone. The hitting is going hard tonight with more than a few bodies flying across the ice. Big Cary Brown, #27 for the N-Stars is going hard at it on the fore-checking, forcing Minnesota into their end.
At 2:42, #7 Ryan Robertson was called for delay of game giving the home team a power play advantage.
#37 Nolan Holcombe for the Iron Rangers is matching the North Stars in fore-checking.
#22 for the North Stars, Jerid Adamson was called after a scramble in front of the North Stars net, the call for interference came at 6:09. The Iron Rangers are putting their powerful power-play back in action.
In a classic action of retaliating in front of the referee, Joey Haydock of the I-Rangers was tagged for interference at 6:56 ending the power play advantage. Both teams are hitting hard and the Garden’s boards are echoing with the action.
Halfway through the first period, the Iron Rangers and North Stars are scoreless.
The action has slowed down slightly as the grinding pace is keeping both teams making frequent line changes, and Joey Rebedew, the Iron Rangers goalie is pouncing on the puck and holding it.
Its back to the penalty box, as #17 Wade Garbett was clocked for tripping at 12:27 giving the Iron Rangers the power play advantage.
Matt Kaarela might be leading the North Stars in scoring but on the penalty killing he is throwing the body and forechecking too. #93 for the Iron Rangers got off a great chance to score with the wrist shot but was wide and high of the net.
4:02 left in the first period. The North Stars are pressing, but couldn’t get the shot on net to take the lead.
#37 Nolan Holcombe of the Iron Rangers put the check onto a North Stars player, in almost the same place the Trevor Hoth was injured last night. The boarding call came at 16:42.
The North Stars advantage was ended with #9 Howard getting the gate for slashing. Time of the penalty 18:11.
The North Stars were ragging the puck and were rewarded with a great goal that puts the team up 1-0 on a short handed effort. #4 of the Iron Rangers left the game Nick Le Sage was favouring his leg. #28 Trevor Hynnes assisted by #4 Matt Kaarela at 18:47.
After one period of action the North Stars had eight shots and the Iron Rangers 5. The North Stars head to the dressing room with a 1-0 lead.
Second Period Action
Action has resumed at Fort William Gardens. Fans are settling back into their seats after intermission. Judging from the smiles there were more than a few fans who snagged one of the Garden’s growingly famous hotdogs. Add the Banana Peppers and onions and you are set for a winter night.
Matt Kaarela snagged the puck behind the I-Ranger’s net and got Tevor Hynnes into scoring position but the Iron Rangers goaltender was up to the test.
Kaarela got off a wrist shot from the slot that tested the Joey Rebedew. The North Stars peppered the goal with shots from both points. The Iron Rangers ended up on the short end as the referee called #46 Tyler Tuneberg for ten minutes for playing with illegal equipment.
that advantage didn’t last long as #12 Kristopher Kellaway for tripping at 3:02. The Iron Rangers wasted little time evening the game at 1-1 with a goal by #8 Joey Haydock assisted by #21 Frank Austin and #10 Luke Karakas.
#11 Justin Lahti of the Iron Rangers followed the goal with a two minute penalty.
The minor penalty was killed off.
The Iron Ranger fans who are up from south of the border are cheering on their team and making their presence known. That might be helping the visitors as they are inspiring the Iron Rangers.
Play has stuck in the North Stars zone with Brattengeir being forced to make some big saves. #93 Kyle Kink is having a solid second period, and helping his team hem in the N-Stars.
#20 Brandyn Dahlquist of the I-Rangers is off to the penalty box with 9:10 left in the period. Dahlquist was tagged with hooking.
#28 of the North Stars, Trevor Hynnes was sent to the sin bin at 15:49 for high sticking.
The Iron Rangers have been pressing it is now key for the North Stars to step up and focus on penalty killing.
#8 Joey Haydock was set up for the shot from the point but fanned on the shot. Seconds later the Iron Rangers power play clicked.
The North Stars headed further behind moments later as the North Stars scored again as the puck trickled through the pads of Brattegier. #3 Seiter scored the goal at 16:24. The Iron Rangers are ahead 3-1 with two minutes left in the second period.
The officials are clearing a penalty issue at the end of the period. #4 Nick Le Sage of the Iron Rangers was set for two minutes for roughing.
Trevor Hynnes got a pair for Unsportsmanlike conduct and roughing for four minutes.
Through two periods of play the North Stars have 16 shots and the Iron Rangers have 17.
Third Period Action
The Third Period is underway. The North Stars have a bit of a hole to dig out from having fallen behind 3-1. The Minnesota power play has scored five times over the two game series. Penalties are not what the North Stars need to get back into the game.
Brattengeir just stole a goal away from the Iron Rangers with a sprawling save that stretched him right out.
There are 15 minutes left in the game, and the N-Stars need to get a goal. the team is pressing hard in the I-Rangers end, but the puck is not going their way yet.
The action in front of the I-Rangers net was hot and heavy, #10 Luke Karakas was called for a two minute slashing call at 8:49. Halfway through the third, the N-Stars have the man advantage and are hunting for a goal. Jerid Adamson guided a slapshot on net but the puck was stopped.
The Iron Rangers have killed off the penalty.
With 8:20 left the Iron Ranger came in on a fast two-on-one break, but couldn’t get the puck into the twine. The referee stopped play as Jayme Brattengier was called for slashing. Captain Paul Zysko is off the the sin bin to serve the two minutes in the box.
The North Stars #27 Cary Brown is off for two minutes for slashing along with a ten minute misconduct. The call came after a slash on one of the Iron Rangers players. With six minutes left, the North Stars can’t afford the penalty box.
During the power play, Kaarela and Mathias Gardiman almost got the North Stars back in close on a two on one but the bouncing puck didn’t got their way.
The home town favourites are still pressing hard, but with two minutes left, time is their enemy now.
The North Stars net is empty as the team pressed hard to get within one goal to try to tie up the game. There is one minute left. The faceoff is deep in the Iron Rangers end, A long slow shot just put the game on ice as the Iron Rangers go up 4-1 on the empty netter.
The goal was scored, unassisted at 19:24
Final score Iron Rangers 4 North Stars 1 – shots on goal 28 for the North Stars and 23 for the Iron Rangers.