North Stars reach semi-finals

The Fort William North Stars nipped the Yorkton Terriers 2-1 yesterday afternoon in the team’s final round-robin game at the Royal Bank Cup in Brampton, Ont.
The win earned the North Stars, who won the Dudley Hewitt Cup (provincial) after capturing the SIJHL crown, a spot in the semi-finals—and a chance to avenge Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to the Burnaby Express.
Fort William’s power play has been one of the team’s strengths throughout the tournament and it did not disappoint yesterday against the Terriers.
Yorkton’s Scott Woytas took a slashing penalty five minutes into the first period, giving Fort William the man advantage. And it took just over a minute for the North Stars to capitalize.
Joey Nigro scored his first goal of the tournament, taking the pass from Kory McEwan to put the North Stars up 1-0.
Former Borderland Thunder player Dennis Morrison continued his impressive offensive production at this year’s Royal Bank Cup, earning the second assist on Nigro’s goal.
The point was Morrison’s eighth in four games—earning him the distinction of being the tournament’s leading scorer through the round-robin portion.
The North Stars got into penalty trouble themselves early in the second period when Josh Slobodian was sent off for hooking around the five-minute mark.
The Terriers evened the score as the power play was coming to end when Justin Menke netted his second of the tournament, assisted by Michael Holmes and Chad Nehring.
But the deadlock did not last long. The North Stars restored their one-goal advantage late in the second when McEwan scored unassisted.
The Terriers came out hard in the third desperate to score the equalizer, outshooting Fort William 8-4 in the period. But North Stars’ goalie Carter Hutton shut the door time to preserve the crucial win.
McEwan’s two-point performance earned him player of the game honours for Fort William.
The North Stars (2-2) now face the Burnaby Express (3-1) tomorrow afternoon, with the other semi-final featuring the host Streetsville Derbys against Yorkton.
The two winners then will meet in Sunday’s final, which will be broadcast on TSN (time to be announced).