SPOONER, Wis. – Riding the strength of a four-goal second period, along with three assists apiece from twin brothers Austin and Ryley Cardinal, the Wisconsin Lumberjacks promptly erased a deficit and went on to defeat the Thunder Bay North Stars 6-3 in a Superior International Junior Hockey League contest Sunday evening at the Spooner Civic Center.
Dalton Garcia did get the Lumberjacks going offensively with an early power play marker at 1:51.
Thunder Bay countered with the equalizer three minutes later off the stick of Jacob Brown.
The North Stars then took the lead at 12:17 when Cody Bruchkowski picked up his SIJHL-best 47th tally of the campaign, which came during a man advantage opportunity.
Play in the middle session favoured Wisconsin in a big way as they connected four times to gain the upper hand.
Defenceman Darren Shykes began it at 2:55 with a point blast before Braden LaPorte put the home side in front midway through the match-up as his attempt from near his bench towards the net went wide, only to see the puck bounce right back in front and clip off Thunder Bay netminder Dylan Kosik and rolled in.
The Lumberjacks then tacked on two more late in the stanza as Ryan Green and Tyler Shetland both connected from the slot to extend the cushion as they went up by three after two following a late-period melee that resulted in numerous game misconducts on both sides.
In the third, Alex Erwin stuffed one in from close range at 11:54 to bring the North Stars back within two.
Garcia however sealed the victory for Wisconsin as he lifted one into an empty net to wrap things up.
Hunter Adams made 34 saves to record the win for the Lumberjacks.
Kosik suffered the loss, allowing five on 33 attempts in two periods of work while back-up Seth McKay played the third and handled all nine attempts he saw in relief.
Photo credit: Karina Schafer