The Thunder Bay North Stars got to learn a valuable lesson that a lot can happen in 12 seconds in a hockey game.
But they showed that adversity can be overcome by maintaining focus.
Brandon Wolframe netted the overtime winner as the North Stars withstood a late rally from the Minnesota Iron Rangers to prevail 5-4 in Superior International Junior Hockey League play at the Fort William Gardens on Friday.
The 19-year-old veteran snuck down from the point into the slot where Daniel Delpaggio found him with a perfect pass.
"The wingers were up high and I just snuck down and Delpaggio made a great pass," Wolframe said. "I was just able to put it in."
Wolframe’s extra time tally was the third powerplay goal for Thunder Bay (18-6-0-1) and provided a crucial two points in the league standings to jump even with Minnesota.
The win breaks Minnesota's (18-8-0-2) run of four consecutive head-to-head victories against the North Stars.
"Coming into (Friday), especially going into the break, we knew we wanted this one," Wolframe said. "It was definitely a huge win for us."
Thunder Bay held a 4-2 lead with less than five minutes remaining in the third period before Matt O’Dea and Matt Audet each found the back of the net in a 12 second span to knot the contest.
Bryce Martyn opened the scoring for Thunder Bay on the powerplay with a booming slapper from the high slot that flew over the glove of Iron Rangers goaltender Jacob Garvey.
The visitors drew even before the end of the period with a powerplay marker of their own, as Jason Reynolds banged a rebound home from the doorstep.
Affiliated player Brad Arabia netted his first of the season for the lone tally in the second period to send the North Stars into the final frame with a one goal lead.
After Zach Grzelewski and Thomas Fazio exchanged goals for Thunder Bay and Minnesota, Delpaggio looked to give the home side some insurance by restoring a two goal advantage with his 20th of the season.
That lead evaporated in a blink of an eye when O’Dea was the beneficiary of a goalmouth scramble in front of North Stars goaltender Eric Mann, and then Audet found the equalizer by blasting a slap shot from just inside the blue line.
The North Stars hit the ice next on the road at Dryden on Jan. 3-4 with a weekend series against the Ice Dogs.
Scoring: 1. Thunder Bay, Martyn 1 (Bra. Wolframe, Cavar) 5:12 pp. 2. Minnesota, Reynolds 17 (Hoth, Fazio) pp. Penalties: Audet MIN (slashing) 4:29; Broderson MIN (slashing) 11:10; Hynnes TB (high-sticking) 17:55.
Scoring: 3. Thunder Bay, Arabia 1 (Bra. Wolframe, Cavar) 11:41. Penalties: Schoenfeld MIN (cross-checking) 3:24; Taylor TB (tripping) 5:43; Millis MIN (slashing), Milhaus TB (cross-checking, roughing) 16:36; Audet MIN (slashing) 19:27.
Scoring: 4. Thunder Bay, Grzelewski 20 (Delpaggio, Martyn) 0:43 pp. 5. Minnesota, Fazio 8 (Hoth) 6:29. 6. Thunder Bay, Delpaggio 20 (Grzelewski) 10:17; 7. Minnesota, O’Dea 19 (King) 15:18; 8. Minnesota, Audet 7 (Fazio) 15:30 Penalties: Arabia TB (hooking) 12:41; O’Dea MIN, Martyn TB (roughing) 19:07.
Scoring: 9. Thunder Bay, Bra. Wolframe 8 (Delpaggio, Hynnes) 3:53 pp. Penalties: Schoenfeld MIN (hooking) 2:31;
GAME DATA - SOG - Minnesota 17-10-9-1-37, Thunder Bay 12-11-7-6-36; Power plays (goals-chances) - Minnesota (1-4), Thunder Bay (3-5); Goaltenders - Minnesota: Jacob Garvey (36 shots, 31 saves), Thunder Bay: Eric Mann (37 shots, 33 saves).
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