Thunder Bay North Stars vs Minnesota Iron Rangers in SIJHL Action

Thunder Bay North Stars warm up getting ready for the Minnesota Iron Rangers
Thunder Bay North Stars warm up getting ready for the Minnesota Iron Rangers
The Thunder Bay North Stars

THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – SIJHL Hockey action is back at Fort William Gardens with the Minnesota Iron Rangers in town to take on the Thunder Bay North Stars.

The Minnesota Iron Rangers are coming off the Christmas break, having only had a couple of practices since the SIJHL Showcase in Duluth. The team captain, who was injured during the last game in Thunder Bay is back on the ice, but not at 100%.

Thunder Bay North Stars warm up getting ready for the Minnesota Iron Rangers
Thunder Bay North Stars warm up getting ready for the Minnesota Iron Rangers

The North Stars are two points in the standings ahead of the Iron Rangers. The SIJHL Showcase was not the North Star’s best showing of the season, and the N-Stars are looking to get back on the winning track tonight.

Tonight the North Stars are without leading scorer Matt Kaarella who is serving a suspension after a fight in the SIJHL Showcase.

Fight Video from SIJHL

First Period Thunder Bay North Stars Action

The teams are off to a fast start, with 33 seconds off the clock, #8 for the Iron Rangers, Joey Haydock is off to the sin bin. The infraction, crosschecking.

These are two teams that have formed a healthy dislike for each other. The checking is solid, and no player is backing down.

The North Stars, halfway through the first period are playing solid hockey, and avoiding the ire of the officials. Minnesota has been pressing hard in the North Stars end for the past two minutes, with solid saves from Lynch who is standing up strong in net.

#7 Mason Prout for the N-Stars is stepping up his play in the absence of Matt Kaarella. However so far, through the first 15 minutes of play the North Stars are not getting the bounces.

With just over four minutes left in the period, Lynch just made a fantastic save on the I-Rangers on what could have been a great goal as the bullet was fired at near point blank range. The Iron Rangers are leading in shots on net 10-3.

The Iron Rangers have been pressing hard through the period, with 1:36 left, #17 Trevor Hoth scored on a solid play assisted by #8 Joey Haydock and #18 Jay Routheau.

At the end of one period, shots on goal: North Stars 6 and Iron Rangers 15.

Second Period North Stars Action

The teams are back at it for the second period. The North Stars need to pick up the pace a little. Having seven players out of the line-up tonight is likely to start showing as the game continues.

First Fight Of The Night Photo By:Nathan Ogden
First Fight Of The Night
Photo By:Nathan Ogden

There is a positive for the North Stars, there are more fans in the stands. That helps the team, as well as demonstrates the real need for a new multiplex.

The North Stars are pressing hard in the Iron Rangers end seeking a goal.

At 12:43, Tyler Tuneberg scored for the Iron Rangers. The assists came from Trevor Hoth  and Joey Haydock.

After two periods, the Iron Rangers are leading 2-0 on the score board.

Shots on goal in the second period North Stars 6 and Iron Rangers 16.

Third Period North Stars Action

The North Stars were looking a little weary at the end of the second period. They are down by a pair of goals, and that because of the stand up netminding of Joseph Lynch.

The Iron Rangers just put their third goal into the twine. The goal, at 1:53 of the third was scored by #93 Kyle Fink and assisted by #14 Justin Gregory and #12 Sawyer Jacobson.

North Star #5 Ready For Face Off Photo By:Nathan Ogden
North Star #5 Nolan Nicholas ready for a Face Off
Photo By:Nathan Ogden

#9 of the North Stars was called for giving the Iron Rangers their first power play of the game. Issac Howarth got the tag for tripping. The North Stars Captain was coming off a hit, and a long shift and looking a little tired when he was sent to the penalty box.

Iron Rangers #18 Jay Routheau was slapped with a slashing penalty at 6:01 ending the power play and giving the North Stars a man advantage for 1:25. However for the first 35 seconds of the man advantage the Iron Rangers were able to keep the puck in the N-Stars zone.

The home team finally got on the scoreboard, bringing the fans into the game. The goal, scored by #17 Wade Garbett was assisted by #10 Nicholas Nigro and #8 Mathias Gardiman.

That goal has fired up the North Stars.

That fire was likely put out on a sneaky wrist shot that eluded Joseph Lynch. The goal also seemed to surprise the North Stars as it slipped past Lynch giving the I-Rangers a 4-1 lead with five minutes left.

The goal scored by #10 Luke Karakas was assisted by #20 Brandyn Dahlquist and #37 Nolan Holcombe at 14:23.

At 17:00 the Iron Rangers iced their cake with a goal scored by #2 Miles Beason and assisted by #29 Eric Lietz and #3 Max Seiter. That twine smacker has fans starting to head to the doors of the Fort William Gardens.

Final Shots on Net; North Stars 19 Iron Rangers 39.

Tonight’s SIJHL Coverage is coming to you from Fort William Gardens with Nathan Ogden and Quinn Spyrka on their Canon cameras.

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