Special teams send Thief River Falls past Fort Frances

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. – The Thief River Falls Norskies used the strength of three power play goals to help them top the Fort Frances Lakers 6-2 Tuesday evening in Superior International Junior Hockey League play at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Skating in his first SIJHL game, new Norskies defenceman Connor Kalthoff was the recipient of a face off win by Nick Harder back to the point where he moved in a fired a shot that clipped off a Fort Frances defender and skipped past goaltender Alex Bugeja midway through the first period.

Coming right back, Fort Frances drew level less than a minute later as Flynn Perry spun and fired a low attempt underneath Thief River Falls goaltender Seth Purcilly off a Michael Chapman attempt.

The home side answered that though by tallying twice before the frame was complete as Cameron Murray collected his initial league marker by one-timing a Parker Adair cross-ice pass while Dan Paseschnikoff also picked up his first in the SIJHL with just 10 seconds left, finishing off as the trailer on a two-on-one.

Special teams helped the Norskies extend their lead in the second stanza as they connected twice on the power play to go up 5-1 after two.

Following another draw won cleanly by Harder, the hosts worked it around before Joe Collins teed one up for Bryce Johnson at the point as he ripped one from up top for his second of the season.

Up a skater again late in the session, Thief River Falls once again worked the puck around with precision that finished with Mason McIntosh burying a chance from the left of Bugeja, who gave way to backup Dylan Kosik the rest of the way in the Fort Frances net.

The Norskies third power play marker of night, coming just past the 12-minute mark of the third, added to their lead as Tyler Johnson blasted one into the open side from the left circle.

Perry’s second of the night, with the Lakers on a late man advantage capped off the scoring in the waning moments of the contest.

Thief River Falls out shot Fort Frances 41-31 on the night with Purcilly picking up the win.

Bugeja allowed five on 27 attempts in defeat for the Lakers while Kosik stopped 13 of 14 in nearly 23 minutes of relief.

Photo credit: Tim Benton