THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – It was a solid showing on home ice for the Thunder Bay under-16 Kings over the weekend as they took five of a possible six points from the Pilot Mound Buffaloes U17 prep side from Manitoba at Fort William First Nation Arena.
In the opener Friday, Chase Furlong turned aside all 28 shots he faced to post a shutout as the Kings blanked the Buffaloes 1-0.
Grady Holden was credited with the lone Thunder Bay tally in the victory with Carter Poddubny picking up an assist on the game-winner.
Saturday afternoon saw Cooper Labelle collect his second goal of the game, with just over a minute remaining, to salvage a 3-3 draw with Pilot Mound.
Notching the other Kings’ marker was Luke Kluchkowsky while Dakota Cooper dished out a pair of helpers.
Netminder Travis VanderZwaag made 27 saves in the tie.
The hosts then capped off the weekend by doubling up their opponents from Manitoba by a 4-2 count.
Matthew Bertolin scored for Thunder Bay in the second stanza, before the Buffaloes countered less than a minute later.
Breaking the deadlock with a three-goal outburst early in the third helped send the Kings on their way to victory.
Getting those tallies were Easton Mikus, Cooper and Poddubny while VanderZwaag handled 24 of the 26 attempts fired his way in a winning cause.
Meanwhile Thunder Bay’s U15 team also saw action as they had a four-game exhibition set in suburban Minneapolis.
In those meetings they defeated the Centennial Cougars 5-2 before falling to the top-ranked team in the state, the Edina Hornets, by a 12-0 count.
The Kings also suffered a pair of narrow setbacks versus the Minnetonka Skippers (2-1) and the Osseo-Maple Grove Orioles (5-3).
Evan Simeoni and Nico Simeoni led the way offensively in the triumph over the Cougars with two goals and an assist apiece.
Lucas Garatti chipped in with the other marker and saw Charlie Weiss play solid between the pipes in getting the win.
Against the powerful Hornets, the club saw Weiss see two periods of work before affiliate goaltender Barrett Hayes saw his first action of the season in the final frame in defeat.
Taking on Minnetonka in the third game of the trip, Kade Hockenhull provided the lone goal in the setback with Weiss turning in a solid effort in net.
Capping off the weekend, Bruce Bouchard, Landyn Paquette and Reggie Taylor all scored for the Kings while Hayes suffered the setback in goal for Thunder Bay.