BLAINE, Minn. – It was a win and a loss for the two Thunder Bay Kings teams competing in Northern American Prospects Hockey League at the Schwan Super Rinks in Blaine, Minn.
The major midget under-18 Kings rallied late to edge the Meijer AAA U-18s 4-3 in a shootout while the minor midget U-16 side dropped a 4-2 decision to the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Knights.
Against Meijer, Jayden Wojciechowski put Thunder Bay in front eight minutes into the contest only to see their opponent strike three times in rapid succession to take a 3-1 lead into the second stanza.
After a scoreless middle frame the Kings used the power play to pull within one 3:23 into the third on a Baldino Aiello effort.
Then with time running out and Thunder Bay goaltender Tyler Szturm on the bench in favour of an extra attacker, Kirk Coppock buried the equalizer just prior to the buzzer sounding.
Heading right to the shootout, it went awhile with each side needing eight shooters apiece to determine the outcome.
In extra shots, Szturm stood tall stopping seven of the eight attempts while Aiello and Jacob Brown, with the winner, replied for the Kings.
Szturm combined to make 31 stops overall to record the win.
The U-18s now return home to begin Thunder Bay Jr. B League play before return to Blaine Oct. 16-19 for the next round of NAPHL play.
Against Wilkes Barre/Scranton, the Knights got on the board 26 seconds into the contest before Quintin Loon-Stewardson tied it for Thunder Bay two minutes later.
The Knights added another however to take a 2-1 lead into the second.
They then tacked on one more in the middle session to grab a two-goal cushion into the final frame.
Loon-Stewardson’s second of the day brought the Kings to within one with 2:13 to go, but the Knights would add one with 13 seconds remaining to round out the scoring.
Seth McKay faced 28 shots in defeat for Thunder Bay.
Next up for the minor midget Kings will be the Wendy Dufton Memorial tournament Oct. 9-11 in London, Ont.