Thunder Bay Kings off to 3-0 Start at Blizzard Showcase


HockeyEDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – The Thunder Bay major midget Kings are off to a 3-0 start at the Blizzard Showcase event in Eden Prairie, Minn.

After opening with an overtime triumph over Team North Dakota Friday, the under-18 Kings started Saturday with 3-0 shutout vs. the Twin Cities Roughriders before wrapping up the day with a 4-1 triumph against the host Minnesota Blizzard.

In the victory over the Roughriders, Eric Vanska turned aside all 21 shots he faced to record the shutout for Thunder Bay.

Gareth Aegard, from Cole MacKenzie and Mason Bazaluk, notched the eventual game-winner in the contest.

Peter Hannula made it 2-0 with assists going to Nicholas DeGrazia and Mackenzie Sedgwick before DeGrazia finished off the work of Tarcisius Tibishkogijig and Hannula to round out the scoring.

The Kings outshot Twin Cities 23-21 in the match-up.

Moving on to the decision over the Blizzard, Jordan Smith was stellar between the pipes for Thunder Bay making 35 saves along the way, including facing a 21-shot barrage in the third period.

After falling behind after the opening frame, the Kings got goals from Nikolas Campbell, Gareth Aegard, on the power play, and Travis Hensrud in the middle stanza to take a 3-1 cushion in the third.

In the final stanza, Smith stood tall to keep Minnesota at bay before Mason Bazaluk iced it with a late empty netter in a contest in which the Kings were outshot 36-17.

Jordan Baranesky, Anthony Biniaris, Nikolas Campbell, Trystan Goodman and Kyler Belluz all added assists in the decision.

Thunder Bay wraps up the weekend Sunday afternoon with a 12:30 p.m. ET encounter vs. the Madison Capitols of Wisconsin.

The major midget Kings will then commence play in the North American Prospects Hockey League later in the month while competition for the club in the Lakehead Junior Hockey League awaits in October.

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