Thunder Bay Kings rally late to take initial U-16 NAPHL contest

Photo credit: TELUS Cup West
Photo credit: TELUS Cup West

BLAINE, Minn. – Alex Atwill’s goal in the sixth round of the shootout was the decider as the Thunder Bay minor midget Kings rallied late to defeat the Metro Northwest Green Giants 3-2 Thursday evening in North American Prospects Hockey League under-16 play in Blaine, Minn.

Pavel Salter opened the scoring for the Giants 3:45 into the contest while Thomas Carls made it 2-0 at 14:19 of the second period.

The Kings picked up the pace in the final frame and were rewarded at 6:25 as Noah Broughton went high and buried an Atwill feed from behind the net to put Thunder Bay on the board.

After surviving some penalty issues later in the period, the Kings would pick up the equalizer with 1:25 remaining in regulation as Jacob Sargent fired a shot from the left point that Metro Northwest goaltender Jake Turek could not corral, allowing Jack Michaelis to put in the rebound from close range.

After a scoreless four-minute overtime solved nothing, extra shots were required to determine a winner.

There it was Thunder Bay netminder Gage Stewart who stole the show as he stopped all six attempts he faced to record the win.

On the Kings sixth shot, Atwill skated in and snapped the winner blocker side past Turek to secure the victory.

The U-16 Kings will now take on the Northwest Blue Ox at 5:15 p.m. Friday while the Thunder Bay major midgets square off against the Metro Southwest Lakers at 9 p.m.

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