FORT FRANCES, Ont. – A Jared Pedersen goal with just over a minute remaining in regulation helped the Thief River Falls Norskies pull out a narrow 3-2 decision over the Minnesota Iron Rangers Wednesday at the Superior International Junior Hockey League Showcase at Ice for Kids Arena in Fort Frances.
A tightly-contested opening 20 minutes saw the league-leading Norskies outshoot the Iron Rangers 13-11, but some solid work from the starting netminders, in Minnesota’s Tyler Thompson and Thief River Falls’ Bailey Schmitz kept it scoreless.
Parker Simonson’s SIJHL-best 31st tally of the season, three and a half minutes into the middle frame, put the Norskies in front as he poked in a Michael Johnson feed from the corner with Mitchell Soderberg earning the second assist on the play.
The Iron Rangers came back to tie it with 8:23 left in the second as Eli Kinsman snapped in his 10th of the campaign from the left face-off circle past Schmitz as Mark Sanchez and Bryce Litke picked up helpers on the equalizer.
Kinsman collected another later in the session as he took advantage of Thief River Falls turnover deep in the zone and quickly wristed another one into the back of the net.
Cody Aarvig tied it for the Norskies early into a power play chance, 6:38 into the third, as his attempt eluded Thompson from the left side.
Then with overtime looming, Thief River Falls picked up the late game-winner from Pedersen, who found himself alone in front while taking a pass from the corner as he chipped the difference maker past the Minnesota goalkeeper.
Schmitz finished with 25 saves to record the win for the Norskies while Thompson faced 46 shots in the close setback.
The SIJHL Showcase concludes with the Fort Frances Lakers taking on the Dryden GM Ice Dogs at 7:30 p.m.
Photo credit: Clint Bruyere