SIJHL – North Stars vs Duluth Clydesdales

The Thunder Bay North Stars

THUNDER BAY – SIJHL Hockey – The Thunder Bay North Stars are hosting the Duluth Clydesdales at Fort William Gardens. The North Stars are looking fired up in the warm-ups – The Clydesdales had a windy ride up along the road north.

There is still time to make your way to the Fort William Gardens and enjoy the game live.

Thunder Bay North Stars
Thunder Bay North Stars warming up for tonight’s game against the Duluth Clydesdales

First Period Action

The game is off to a fast pace, with the North Stars off to a fast start. There have been several scoring chances in the early going. Matt Kaarella sailed a shot just wide of Neill Kirby in the Duluth net.

On of the factors in tonight’s game may be the conditioning of the Clydesdales there are only 16 players dressed for the visitors. The North Stars, with quick line changes and lots of pressure may find that a factor in tonight’s game.

Key for the N-Stars is keeping away from the penalty box.

Isacc Howard for the North Stars chased down Duluth for a puck that got away from the defense, that could have led to a scoring chance. With 12:12 left in the first period, shots are 4-3 for the North Stars.

#19 Blake Jorenby just got off a great slap-shot that tested Jayme Brattengier. That led to a penalty, cross-checking being called on Trevor Hynnes of the North Stars, putting the Clydes on the power play.

Thunder Bay has done a good job of killing the penalty, with Duluth not getting any shots off on net.

Fort William Gardens snacks
Tasty snacks are off course a part of the fun of a hockey game. The Fort William Garden ‘Hotdog’ smothered in banana peppers and onions makes a nice treat!

The North Stars re-grouped in the Clydes zone, won the face-off and Trevor Hynnes had the puck in the slot tied up in his skates. Missing a scoring opportunity.

However the team quickly regrouped and put the puck behind Kelley. Scoring for the North Stars was #17 Wade Garbett assisted by #4 Matt Kaarela and #21 Bryce Martyn. Time of the goal 12:52.

It was penalty time, #19 for Duluth got the box for two minutes, and then at 14:23 in a questionable call, Wade Garbett was sent off for high sticking.

#7 Mason Prout fired a shot from the point, it was easily gloved by Kelley. That drew a little ‘coaching’ from the North Stars bench.

In shots on net, the N-Stars are leading with 3:51 in the first period 10-3.

At 18:01 on a great job of crowding the net the North Stars pegged the second marker of the period behind Kelley. #4 Matt Kaarela scored the goal, assisted by #9 Isaac Howarth.

At 18:55 #17Wade Garbett was sent to cool his heels in the sin bin for tripping.

Kaarela got off a snappy wrist shot that was handled by Kelley leading to a return by Duluth that lead to #23 Tom Monteiro getting to know the boards a lot more than he would have liked, ending the period.

Shots on net through the first twenty minutes: North Stars 10  – Clydesdales 5.

Game Notes: The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced today that the game scheduled for this evening between the Fort Frances Lakers and Dryden Ice Dogs has been postponed due to inclement weather and poor highway conditions. A make-up date and time will be announced once it has been finalized.

Second Period Action

The North Stars hit the ice flying in the first seconds of the second period. Popping a fast goal behind the Duluth netminder to take a three goal lead. The North Stars goal scored by #9   assisted by #6 Tim Cavear for a short handed goal, with Garbett still in the penalty box.

Making it look easy the N-Stars put another goal behind Kelley – the smooth ice surface has the team flying. The fourth goal was scored by #4 Matt  Kaarela and assisted by #16 Alex Vaillant and #17 Wade Garbett at 1:13.

Showing they are not out of the game the Clydes #10 Ian Reffert assisted by #28 Jon Ringstad at 1:39.

North Stars shoot on Duluth goalie
The action was hot and heavy – Here Mathias Gardiman gets off a shot on Neill Kelley

The North Stars get a chance to get that one back on the power play as #4 Mark Williams got tagged for tripping at 2:04.

With 13:13 to go there was a mix-up in front of the North Stars net, however no penalties were called.

Fans of good hockey action, who choose to sit at home tonight are missing a classic North Stars game. Fast skating, and solid action. The home team is leading on both the scoreboard and in shots on net. 16-7 in shots with 11:30 left in the period.

That hard work paid off as Matt Kaarela put the team ahead 5-1 at the 9:09 mark sliding the puck around Kelley in the Clydes net. The assist was from #17 Wade Garbett.

#19 Mitchell Fox is off for cross-checking at the 9:50 mark. That man advantage didn’t last long as #7 A. J. Merrit was tagged by the referee for slashing.

The Clydes got deeper into penalty trouble at 12:06 with #4 getting the box. That led to a power play goal at 12:17 with #2 Marshall Fox scoring.

Duluth is not out of this yet the Clydes scored at 17:18 the goal coming on a sly play by #17 Dillon Mershon.

Shots on net after two periods of action North Stars 25 and Clydesdales 10.

Third Period Action

In other SIJHL action tonight the Minnesota Wilderness are up 3-0 over the Minnesota Iron Rangers. The Wilderness are taking the league by storm this season.

The teams have hit the ice for the third period. #16 of the Clydesdales took a great hit from the North Stars in open ice and hit hard but got up like the Energizer Bunny and headed to the bench.

The North Stars have likely put this one on ice with a hard working goal scored at 3:45. The goal game after some solid play forcing the puck on net. Alex Vaillant had a scoring opportunity seconds before the goal by #4 Matt Kaarella potted his fourth goal of the game.

That momentum was continued moments later as the North Stars put the either goal behind Neill Kelley, likely having the netminder  #6 Tim Cavar assisted by #2 Marshall Fox and #4 Matt Kaarella. If Kaarella keeps up this pace he will be in serious contention for player of the week honours in the SIJHL.

#19 Mitchell Fox was sent off to the penalty box for slashing at 5:58 giving a little life potential to the Clydes. However there are Duluth players looking a little weary.

#9 Issac Howarth and #28 Trevor Hynnes for the North Stars got off on a two man break-away but Kelley was able to grab the shot on the short side. The Clydesdales are showing some determined effort not to stay in the penalty box and give the game away completely tonight. Several times the team has resisted reacting to dust-ups.

North Stars Marshall Fox caught the referee’s eye and was tagged at 10:20 for cross-checking.

Play has slowed slightly as the teams round the ‘clubhouse turn and head for home. With 4:30 left to play the North Stars have likely put this game on ice leading by six goals. It has been a stellar performance by Matt Kaarela with four goals and an assist.

#4 Mark Williams of the Clydes is off for a two minute rest in the penalty box with 3:37 left. High sticking was the infraction.

Mathais Gardiman has had a solid game tonight as well, and almost scored on a solid slap-shot. The N-Stars are continuing to press. That was rewarded with an apparent goal by #28 Trevor Hynnes however that was waved off by the official who stated that Hynnes was in the goal crease.

The Thunder Bay North Stars are set to play the Fort Frances Lakers on Saturday night at the Fort William Gardens game time will be 7:30PM.

There is a bit of bad blood shooting to the top in the dying seconds of the game.

Final Score Thunder Bay North Stars 8 and Duluth Clydesdales 2.

Shots on net were 30 for the North Stars and 15 for Duluth.

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