SIJHL – Thunder Bay North Stars are playing host to the Duluth Clydesdales at Fort William Gardens

The Thunder Bay North Stars

THUNDER BAY – Updated – The SIJHL advised that tonight’s game has been postponed – The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced today that the game scheduled for this evening between the Duluth Clydesdales and Thunder Bay North Stars has been postponed.

A make-up date and time will be announced once it has been finalized.

The Thunder Bay North Stars are playing host to the Duluth Clydesdales tonight in SIJHL Hockey action. The game comes on the cusp of the annual SIJHL Showcase, which this year is on in Duluth. Heading into tonight’s contest, Duluth is tied for third in the league standings with Fort Frances at 32 points. The Stars are fourth in the league with the man advantage 15.4%.

The N-Stars sit third while shorthanded at 80.6%.

Heading into tonight’s contest, SIJHL Pizza Hut player of the week Matt Kaarela continues to lead all the other skaters in the league in goals with 26. Kaarela is also second in overall offensive numbers with 41 points, and is riding a five-game point streak amassing 14 points, including eight tallies during that span.

North Stars rookie forward Mathias Gardiman leads the team in game-winning goals with three. He is also tied for second in team scoring with Wade Garbutt as the pair has 22 points apiece.

The annual SIJHL Showcase is on this Saturday and Sunday at Mars Lakeview Arena in Duluth, Minn. The two-day event features all six SIJHL clubs competing with each side playing twice in games that will count towards the regular season standings.

Action will get underway Saturday morning at 10:45 a.m. when the host Duluth Clydesdales take on the Minnesota Iron Rangers.

Next up following a league luncheon and executive board meeting, the Thunder Bay North Stars will take on the Fort Frances Lakers at 5 p.m.

Concluding play on day one you’ll have the Dryden Ice Dogs tangling with the Minnesota Wilderness at 8 p.m.

Day 2 competition commences at 9 a.m. Sunday as the Lakers and Clydesdales square off followed by Iron Rangers and Ice Dogs at 12:15 p.m. and then concludes at 3:30 p.m. as the Wilderness face-off with the North Stars.

SIJHL Showcase Schedule
(All games at Mars Lakeview Arena in Duluth)

Saturday, Dec. 22
Clydesdales vs. Iron Rangers 10:45 a.m.
North Stars vs. Lakers 5 p.m.
Ice Dogs vs. Wilderness 8 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 23
Lakers vs. Clydesdales 9 a.m.
Iron Rangers vs. Ice Dogs 12:15 p.m.
Wilderness vs. North Stars 3:30 p.m.

Mars Lakeview Arena

1201 Rice Lake Road
Duluth, Minn.

Arena Map/Directions

ALSO ON TAP: Three other games are also on tap this week in the SIJHL prior to the Showcase with action getting underway this evening as last season’s Bill Salonen Cup finalist Fort Frances hosts the two-time SIJHL champion Wilderness at 7:30 p.m.

Meanwhile a pair of contests goes Wednesday with Thunder Bay at home to Duluth at 7:30 p.m. and the Iron Rangers entertaining the Wilderness in Hoyt Lakes at 7 p.m.

NCAA ACCOLADES: Former Dryden Ice Dogs forward Ben McClellan was named the most recent Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s athlete of the week for his efforts on the ice.

The Augsburg College sophomore had a seven-point weekend scoring twice and dishing out three assists in an 8-2 win over Wisconsin-Superior. A day later he scored twice more in a 3-3 overtime tie against Northland.

TEAM-BY-TEAM NOTES for the rest of the SIJHL

DRYDEN ICE DOGS: Dryden presently sits second in the SIJHL standings with an 18-12 record. … The Ice Dogs have two players among the top 10 in SIJHL scoring. Chris Belhumeur paces the club and sits third overall in the league in offensive production with 39 points. He is also third in goals with 21 and is knotted for sixth in game-winning markers with three. … Tyler Walsh’s 29 points in as many outings sees him 10th in the SIJHL. Walsh is also tied for second in game-winning markers with four. … Sportop performer of the Month Eric Szymczyk tops all SIJHL netminders in wins with 13. … Dryden sits second best in the league on the power play clicking at a success rate of 19.8%. They are fifth however on the penalty kill at 77.8%. … Forward Austin Lewis has points in seven of his last eight games registering eight goals and five assists.

DULUTH CLYDESDALES: The Clydedales will host the SIJHL Showcase this weekend at Mars Lakeview Arena in Duluth. … The club sits in sixth spot in the SIJHL standings with a disappointing 1-25-0-1 over record. They did however pick up their fourth point of the season in their last outing, a hard-luck 3-2 loss in a shootout Sunday to Fort Frances. …Darrick Howard leads the Clydes offensively in both goals and points with 10 and 18 respectively. Austin Snedden is next with 17 points followed by Ian Reffert’s 15. … Defenceman Jon Ringstad had three points in his last three outings. … Special teams see the Clydesdales fourth in the league on the penalty kill at 80.3%. They sit sixth on the power play at 13.6%.

FORT FRANCES LAKERS: The Lakers enter play this week tied for third in the SIJHL standings with Thunder Bay. They also hold one game in hand on the Stars. …The Fort Frances trio of Jordan Christianson, Merritt Rysavy and Colton Spicer are all in the top 15 in league scoring. Christianson is tied for 10th with 29 points while the other pair is close behind with 27. … Christianson’s 19 tallies are the fourth most in the league so far this season. … Jacob Nolan is tied for the SIJHL lead in shorthanded goals with two. … Goaltenders Tanner Hamilton and Jameson Shortreed are fourth and fifth respectively in league goals-against average at 3.17 and 3.20. … Hamilton is also knotted for fourth in wins with nine. … The Lakers sit fifth in the SIJHL in power play success at 13.8%. …While on the P.K. the club is also fifth at 79.1%.

MINNESOTA IRON RANGERS: Under first-year head coach Chris Walby the Iron Rangers are playing .500 hockey at 14-14-2-0, but are an impressive 8-2-1 in the last 11 games. … Forward Joey Haydock leads the club in scoring with 30 points on the season, which ties him for eighth overall in the league. …Next on the squad is Jonathon Losurdo. He has 25 points to date. His four game-winning tallies tie him for second in the league. … The club is 8-3 when Nolan Holcombe registers at least one point in a game. … The Iron Rangers are a solid second in the SIJHL on the penalty kill at 85.9%. They also sit second in power play proficiency at 16.5%. … Including the Showcase the Rangers play their next six away from home.

MINNESOTA WILDERNESS: The red-hot Wilderness take a 13-game winning streak into Fort Frances tonight. … They lead the SIJHL with a solid 25-3 record. … They are the second ranked team in the entire 128-team Canadian Junior League and also boast the second best winning percentage overall at .893. … Netminders JoJo Jeanetta and Gordie Defiel presently sports the best and second best goals-against average in both the SIJHL and CJHL at 1.56 and 1.63 respectively among those puck stoppers who have played at least 800 minutes so far this season. … The duo are knotted for second in wins overall with 12 each. … Jeanetta is tops in shutouts with four while Defiel is right behind with three blanking to his credit. … The Wilderness has also allowed the fewest goals of any team in the CJHL to date at 46. They also pace the SIJHL in goals scored with 162. … The club has six skaters among the top 10 in league scoring. Leading the way is Mike Dietrich who has 44 points on 16 and a league-high 28 assists. …Jordan Shockley, who leads the SIJHL in game-winning goals with five, is second on the squad offensively and fourth overall with 37 points. … Teammates Jake Larson, Michael MacKinnon, Joseph Drapluk and Jeremy Johnson are all close by with 30 or more points apiece. … The Wilderness are league leader in power play success currently clicking at 33.6% success rate. … They also lead on the penalty kill at 93.5%.

THUNDER BAY NORTH STARS:  … Goaltender Jayme Brattengeier is knotted for fourth in wins with nine. … He has played the second most minutes in net among all SIJHL puckstoppers at nearly 925.

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