DULUTH, Minn. – SIJHL Sports – Day 1 of the Superior International Junior Hockey League Showcase saw all six SIJHL member clubs in action with a trio of game contested. The Thunder Bay North Stars got off to a slow start losing to the Fort Frances Lakers by a 7-1 deficit. The Minnesota Wilderness tagged in on their 16th consecutive win of the season topping Dryden by a 4-1 total.
The following is a recap on day one play at the SIJHL Showcase:
FORT FRANCES LAKERS 7 THUNDER BAY NORTH STARS 1 – The Lakers got a hat-trick and an assist from Colton Spicer to help Fort Frances roll over Thunder Bay. The North Stars racked up 25 minutes in penalties, compared to 12 minutes for the Lakers. The Northstars remain fighting both penalties and their opponent. It is an area that the N-Stars need to improve on to tally wins rather than loses.
Jon Bachman, Jordan Christianson, Hunter Leishman and Davis Smith also tallied for the winning side while Jameson Shortreed turned aside 28 of 29 shots he faced to pick up the win.
Alex Vaillant had the lone goal for the North Stars.
Joseph Lynch started and suffered the loss allowing five against on 27 attempts. Jayme Brattengeier stopped six of eight in just over eight minutes of relief.
MINNESOTA IRON RANGERS 5 DULUTH CLYDESDALES 3 – Trevor Hoth had a big game for the Iron Rangers in the Showcase opener dishing out four assists to help pace his side past Duluth.
Joey Haydock notched a pair of tallies for Minnesota while singles went to Jonathon Losurdo, Justin Gregory and Austin Frank. Losurdo also had an assist in the contest.
Austin Snedden and Austin Loes had a goal and assist each for the Clydesdales with Ian Reffert adding the other marker.
Chase Hollander made 29 saves to register the win for the Iron Rangers while Dom DeGuiseppi faced 49 shots in a losing cause.
MINNESOTA WILDERNESS 4 DRYDEN ICE DOGS 1 – The surging Wilderness reeled off their 16th consecutive victory as they improved to 28-3 on the season.
The lone goal of the opening session came late as Dan Divis scored on the power play at 18:13.
After Dryden’s Jesse Linner tied things up early in the middle frame the league-leading Wilderness got efforts from Nick McCormack, with the man advantage, along with Mike Dietrich to go up 3-1 after 40 minutes.
Wrapping up the scoring in the third period was Zach Thielen at 13:55.
Gordie Defiel was the winning goaltender making 14 stops while Eric Szymczyk was peppered with 43 shots in a losing cause.
Day 2 play at the Showcase features three more contests.
Fort Frances meets Duluth at 9 a.m. followed by the Iron Rangers and Ice Dogs at 12:15 before the Wilderness and North Stars wrap things up at 3:30 p.m.
All three match-ups go at Mars Lakeview Arena in Duluth.