THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. – The Superior International Junior Hockey League-leading Thief River Falls Norskies battled back from a 2-1 second period deficit by notching seven unanswered goals to beat the Minnesota Iron Rangers 8-2 Saturday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Harrison Bjorgo’s first SIJHL tally gave Minnesota the lead five minutes into the contest only to see Aslan Akervik counter for the Norskies at 6:38 to tie it 1-1 after one.
An early second period power play helped the Iron Rangers regain the lead as Bjorgo scored again to put the visitors back in front.
However it was all Thief River Falls from there that included three straight markers to finish off the middle stanza on two tallies from Akervik to complete his initial league hat trick along with a single off the stick of Riley Bergland who recorded his first SIJHL tally with the offensive effort.
The Norskies then blew it open in the final session as they tacked on four more compliments of Blair Lindholm, Parker Simonson, who reached the 20-goal plateau, Connor Bowey and Boe Bjorge.
Bergland and Trevor McLain chipped in with two assists to aid in the winner’s cause.
Brock Lefebvre started for Thief River Falls and stopped 10 of 12 before giving way to the Norskies’ other netminder Bailey Schmitz, who handled all 12 attempts he faced in lengthy relief while also recording the victory.
Rob Ivy suffered the loss for Minnesota allowing six against on 48 shots.
Tyler Thompson meanwhile turned aside six of eight in 8:17 of playing time.
The same two teams will meet again Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. back in Thief River Falls.
Photo credit: Allison Garrigan