HOYT LAKES, Minn. – The Thunder Bay North Stars picked up a hat trick and an assist from Brendan Gillis to lead them to a 7-3 victory over the Minnesota Iron Rangers Thursday night in Game 3 of their Superior International Junior Hockey League first round series at Hoyt Lakes Arena.
With the outcome, Thunder Bay wins the best-of-five series 3-0 and now advances to a second-round semifinal series vs. the Thief River Falls Norskies.
The schedule of that best-of-seven affair will be announced by the SIJHL once it is finalized.
Thursday’s contest saw Max Sturko put Minnesota on the board at 13:11 only to see Gillis tie it before the first period was complete.
Alex Maticic and Jake Behse put the North Stars up 3-1 in the middle session only to see the Iron Rangers’ counter with tallies from Joel Nagy and Cody Hendrickson to knot the affair at 3-3 with four minutes to go in the frame.
Regrouping, Thunder Bay clicked with markers from Logan Mihalcin and Gillis late in the period to go up by two after 40 minutes.
The visitors then put the game away in the third on goals from Avery Siau at even strength and Gillis via the power play to wrap-up the series.
Kyle Auger and Bradley Thrower had two assists each to aid the North Stars’ cause.
Thunder Bay outshot Minnesota 60-27 on the night with Dougie Newhouse picking up the win while Tyler Thompson suffered the season-ending loss for the Iron Rangers.
No. 3 Thunder Bay North Stars vs. No. 6 Minnesota Iron Rangers
Thunder Bay wins best-of-five series 3-0
Game 1: Thunder Bay 6 Minnesota 4
Game 2: Thunder Bay 11 Minnesota 0
Game 3: Thunder Bay 7 Minnesota 3
Photo credit: Cherie Grams