A Jake Eischen power-play goal with just under six minutes to go proved to be the game-winner as the Thief River Falls Norskies held off a late Fort Frances Lakers’ rally in a 5-3 win last night at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.
The Norskies came out strong, grabbing a 2-0 lead after the first period on goals by Alec Severson and Tate Steffan.
Michael Crosbie then put the Norskies up by three at 11:21 of the second frame–only to see Fort Frances battle back on goals by Brett Hahkala (power play) and Ethan Knutsen to trim it two 3-2 after 40 minutes.
The Lakers then drew even at 11:28 of the third as Nate Drobnick’s third of the season, on a man advantage, knotted it at 3-3.
But the Norskies came back on a power play of their own to break the deadlock on Eischen’s sixth of the season.
Boe Bjorge, who had an assist on the Eischen marker, then capped the scoring with an empty-netter in the final minute on another man
He also extended his point streak to 19 games.
Blake Nelson chipped in two assists for Thief River Falls.
Bailey Schmitz made 15 saves to earn the win while Jacob Gnidziejko finished with 38 stops in taking the loss.
The fifth-place Lakers (11-19-0-0) resume action tomorrow when they host the fourth-place Dryden GM Ice Dogs (14-12-3-1) at 7:30 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.
The Thunder Bay North Stars (23-2-1-1) continue to lead the six-team SIJHL while the Red Lake Miners (20-9-1-0) occupy second spot.
The Norskies (18-9-3-1) sit third while the Minnesota Iron Rangers (3-27-0-0) remain mired in the league basement.