North Stars’ Newhouse blanks Lakers in SIJHL Showcase opener

HOYT LAKES, Minn. – The first place Thunder Bay North Stars saw goaltender Dougie Newhouse turn aside all 18 shots he faced to help his side shutout the Fort Frances Lakers 3-0 in opening day action Tuesday of the Superior International Junior Hockey League Showcase at Hoyt Lakes Arena.

The best chance to score in the first frame came midway through the stanza, but Thunder Bay’s Kyle Auger was denied by a stellar save by Fort Frances starter Jacob Gnidziejko.

The contest was scoreless until the later stages of the second stanza when Jayden Mrakic stuffed one from the right of the crease that found its way through Gnidziejko at 17:43 for his second with the club since joining the North Stars in mid-December.

Moving on to the third, Thunder Bay added some insurance with nine and a half minutes to go as Michael Stubbs spun in the right face-off circle and ripped a shot off the post and in to extend the SIJHL leaders cushion.

The then finished off with a last-second empty netter from Evan Nicholas to round out the scoring.

For Newhouse, it was his third shutout of the season, which ties him for the league lead with teammate Brock Aiken.

Gnidziejko was solid in the setback for Fort Frances finishing with 41 stops in defeat.

With the result, the North Stars registered the league-leading 30th win of the season going to 30-2-1-1 while the Lakers slipped to 12-22-1-1.