Thunder Bay Noirth Stars captain Logan Mihalcin (left) and Fort Frances Lakers forward Reece Hopfner battle for position on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020 at Fort William Gardens. (Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com)

3rd period rally leads North Stars past Lakers

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – Down by a pair entering the third period, the Thunder Bay North Stars stormed back with four goals to pull out an eventual 5-4 come from behind victory over the Fort Frances Lakers Wednesday in Superior International Junior Hockey League play at the Fort William Gardens.

Thunder Bay did notch the lone tally of the frame when Cody Bruchkowski collected his SIJHL-leading 38th at 11:30.

Fort Frances drew level at 12:24 of the second stanza as Flynn Perry stuffed in his 15th of the campaign to tie things up.

The Lakers then took the lead late in the session on transition that resulted in Kyle Uzelman wiring in his 10th from up high on the right side.

They then picked up a power play in the final moments and were rewarded with MacKenzie Flett knocking down a clearing attempt then blasting in his fifth from the point just before time expired.

In the final frame, a long-range attempt from the left side, just inside the blueline, found its way low past Fort Frances netminder Dean Buchholz.

Adam Morgan then tallied twice a couple of shifts apart to give Thunder Bay the lead.

Working the puck free behind the net, the visitors drew level at 13:16 as Reece Hopfner scored his third while in close of North Stars starter Dylan Kosik.

However, the Lakers were penalized with an interference call right off the face off and the hosts capped off the comeback as Jacob Anttonen notched the game-winner as he finished off a Morgan cross-crease feed.

Shots on goal finished up 32-28 in favour of Fort Frances with Kosik getting the win while Buchholz suffered the setback.

Photo credit: Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com