Bruchkowski leads North Stars over Lakers in SIJHL Showcase opener

SPOONER, Wis. – Cody Bruchkowski continued his impressive goal-scoring prowess by tacking on three more and adding an assist to lead the Thunder Bay North Stars to a 6-2 victory over the Fort Frances Lakers in the opener of the Superior International Junior Hockey League Showcase Tuesday afternoon at the Spooner Civic Center.

Thunder Bay opened the scoring, while shorthanded, near the midway point of the first period that resulted in Bruchkowski tallied for a fifth straight outing as he connected with a low shot from the slot with his SIJHL-leading 42nd goal while also extending a point streak to 11 consecutive contests.

Continuing his torrid pace, Bruchkowski buried his second of the stanza as he snapped in a power play marker from the left side at 12:50.

Down a skater again, the North Stars got another as Hunter Foreshew forced a turnover near his own blueline then darted down the ice, cut in, and put a shot into the top right hand corner to give his side a 3-0 lead after one with an unassisted effort.

Fort Frances got on the board seven and a half minutes into middle frame as they clicked with the man advantage that saw Kyle Uzelman rip one upstairs from the left faceoff circle to put his side on the board.

However, Thunder Bay came right back to restore their three-goal cushion off a draw that was finished off by Jacob Brown from the high slot at 9:17 as he bagged his 25th tally of the campaign.

Heading to the third, the Lakers pulled back to within two early as Reece Hopfner scored from a sharp angle to make it a 4-2 game.

Answering once more, the North Stars’ Adam Morgan added one before Bruchkowski finished off his hat trick by picking the bottom left hand corner from the right wing in the late going to round out the scoring.

Brown dished out three assists to aid the winners cause as he too had a four-point performance.

Thunder Bay out shot Fort Frances 40-37 with Dylan Kosik getting the win while Dean Buchholz suffered the loss.

Photo credit: Karina Schafer