ladies the north face jackets Auger is anchor for North Stars
The Thunder Bay North Stars took their first and only lead of the game at exactly the right time 12 players into the shootout to defeat the English River Miners 4 3 on Friday in Superior International Junior Hockey League action at Fort William Gardens.
Recently acquired Kyle Auger scored the game winner high blocker side to secure the win. Auger also scored in the second period.
Dougie Newhouse stopped five of six in the shootout and 35 of 38 shots in regulation and three on three, while Michael Lenko handled 40 of 44 combined shots in the Miners’ net to shoulder the loss.
“I think I had about 14 shots,” said Auger, who had two sparkling chances in overtime. “I guess maybe he (Lenko) knew my shot. I saw the five guys go before me, everyone shot. I was thinking the deke, but I knew no matter how hard it is I knew I could just put it over his blocker there. Looking at other guys and where they shot and we didn’t score so I felt blocker side would be good.”
Thunder Bay erased leads of 1 0, 2 1 and 3 2.
English River opened the scoring midway through the first. Ethan Wong batted in a rebound off Newhouse on a shot from Zak Albers.
Auger scored his first as a North Star, wristing in a point shot that beat Lenko glove side. Auger’s power play marker 20 seconds in came on the first penalty called in three and a half periods of penalty free hockey spanning two games involving the Stars.
English River returned the favour on their first man advantage opportunity. The Miners maintained the zone for an extended period. Michael Di Lullo deflected Kyle Rosolowski’s slap pass to beat Newhouse along the ice for a 2 1 Miners’ edge.
Rosolowski’s stretch pass sent Di Lullo in on a partial breakaway. Newhouse was able to extend his pad to keep it out. At the other end, Brendan Gillis misfired on a good North Star chance late in the second.
Alex Erwin played the puck from behind the net and it deflected off a Miners’ defender to tie the game at 10:42 of the third. Carson Smith picked up the assist.
English River retook the lead at 13:20 of the third. Ryan Patterson’s slap shot from the point through traffic went straight in. Thunder Bay’s Joe Newhouse tied it at 15:52, replicating Patterson’s effort with a point shot slapper of his own to send it into extra time.
Gerrie had and an early chance on three on three and Auger had a pair of good whacks late in the five minute extra session.
“We don’t get to the net enough,
” said North Stars head coach Rob DeGagne.
“We have some great talent, we’ve got some talented guys but eventually you got to get to the dirty areas to score goals. Not all goals are beautiful. The goals we did score were guys going to the net causing some traffic. Joe Newhouse’s goal, and Auger’s first goal Keighan Gerrie went to the front of the net. We got to get to the dirty areas for sure.”
Auger, a Thunder Bay native, started his junior season in Ottawa this year and moved to Moncton.
“Auger’s a talented, talented individual. He’s a young kid too, he’s only 18 years old,” said DeGagne. “The sky’s the limit for him. Maybe he had a slowdown when he went away but maybe he can get his mojo back and we can get him to the next level.”
The North Stars improved to 18 11 3 while English River maintained their .500 pace with a 13 13 4 record.
“We got two, they got one, so we pick up another point on them,
” said DeGagne. “We have to stay ahead of them. We have to beat the teams below us and somehow we have to get to the same level as the guys above us.”