Thunder Bay Kings Go 2-2 in Blaine Tourney

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Thunder Bay Kings Hockey

BLAINE, Minn. – It was mixed results for the Thunder Bay Kings Saturday in Blaine, Minn., as the three competing sides there went 2-2 for the day.

The major midget under-18 Kings fell 4-2 to Meier AAA of Michigan while the minor midget under-16 squad beat the Northern Cyclones of New Hampshire 5-1 before falling 3-1 to the Rocky Mountain Rough Riders from Colorado in North American Prospects Hockey League action.

Also in Blaine, the bantam Kings post their second straight shutout in the NAPHL Future Prospects tournament as they blanked the New Jersey Titans 2-0.

Major midget competition saw Meier AAA tally twice in the game’s final four minutes to pull out the win over Thunder Bay.

Evan Nicholas and Quintin Loon-Stewardson combined to set-up Cody Bruchkowski early in the contest to put the Kings in front.

The Michigan-based Meier squad countered with markers 50 seconds apart later in the session to take a 2-1 lead after one period of play.

After a scoreless second stanza, Thunder Bay came back with the equalizer 6:43 into the third on a Elijah Loon-Stewardson effort with Garrett Gammond and Josh Brown earning helpers on the play.

However their opponents countered with the two late goals to secure the decision.

Meier held the edge in shots by a 32-28 count with Ryan Fanti suffering the setback in net.

Two tilts will be on the major midget’s docket Sunday starting with an 8:30 a.m. match-up vs. the California Titans before they meet the U-18 Rocky Mountain Rough Riders at 4:30 p.m.

Taking on the Cyclones, it was the minor midgets’ leading point producer in NAPHL play who led the way for Thunder Bay in the triumph as Keighan Gerrie tallied twice and set-up two others in the triumph.

Neither side would score in the first period, but the Kings broke it open in the middle stanza as they struck three times in the frame on markers by Nicholas Hahkala, Christian Veneruzzo and Gerrie in a 10-minute span.

After the Cyclones got one back, via the power play, 6:15 into the third, the Kings came right back getting another from Veneruzzo 55 seconds later before Gerrie capped off his four-point outing with a man advantage effort in the late going to round out the scoring.

Owen Belisle chipped in with two assists for Thunder Bay while Jordan Smith stopped 21 of 22 to record the win on net.

In the match-up vs. the Rough Riders, Rocky Mountain got on the board midway through the first period as Nikita Krivokrasov beat Thunder Bay starter Christian Cicigoi moments after a Kings penalty had expired.

The minor midgets got that back with a man advantage marker off the stick of Veneruzzo early in the second only to see Ty Black put his side back on top eight minutes into the session.

Rocky Mountain then iced it with a power play goal in the final minute of the contest to finish things off.

The Rough Riders were outshot by the Kings 29-23 with Cicigoi suffering the defeat.

Sunday’s lone contest for the under-16 Kings has them taking on the St. Louis Selects at 2:30 p.m.

In the bantam match-up, Thunder Bay had another shutout as Stephan Bourgeois stopped all 15 shots he faced to backstop his club to victory.

Cole MacKenzie got the eventual game-winner for the club six and a half minutes into the contest with Alex Atwill and Mackenzie Sedgwick picking up assists.

Michael Stubbs than added an unassisted effort early in the third to round out the scoring.

The bantam Kings return to action Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. when they take on the Affton Americans of Missouri.

Meanwhile the peewee Kings fell to 0-2 at the Spirit of Duluth tourney after dropping a 4-2 decision to the Edina Hornets.

They return to the ice later tonight against the Moorhead Spuds.

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