U-16 Kings suffer first loss in NAPHL play

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Thunder Bay Kings Hockey splash

BLAINE, Minn. – The Minnesota Northeast Blue Ox used the strength of four second period goals, including three on the power play, to help them rally for a 4-2 victory over the Thunder Bay minor midget Kings early Friday evening in North American Prospects Hockey League under-16 action in Blaine, Minn.

After a scoreless first frame, the Kings opened the scoring 1:54 into the middle stanza as Noah Broughton struck shorthanded to put Thunder Bay on the board.

However, the rest of the frame was all Blue Ox as special teams helped them strike four times in under a seven-minute span to take control.

Gunnar Gustafson, Christian Kadolph and Mason Poolman all connected on the man-advantage opportunities while Tate Hammitt had one at even strength.

Moving on to the third, the Kings pulled to within two with 2:05 to go as defenceman Jack Cook jumped into the rush and snapped one in from the left side in what turned out to be the game’s final tally.

Gage Stewart suffered the setback in net for the Kings allowing the four against on 25 shots while Noah Rupprecht was the winning goaltender for Minnesota handling 30 of the 32 attempts fired his way.

The U-16 Kings (1-1) are back at it Saturday at 1:15 p.m. as they take on the Minnesota Walleye while Thunder Bay’s major midgets (1-0) meet the Metro Southwest Lakers at 9 p.m. tonight and the U-18 Metro Northwest Green Giants at 5 p.m. Saturday.