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Fighting Walleye pull out overtime win

Kyle Lamoureux scores late in overtime to secure a 2-1 victory in a game that started Friday night, but was halted due to an injury to Thunder Bay's Pie-Luc Bellard.

OLIVER PAIPOONGE – It was an overtime win 49 hours in the making.

Kyle Lamoureux scored with 28 seconds left to go in the extra frame on Saturday night, delivering the Kam River Fighting Walleye a 2-1 win over the Thunder Bay North Stars, the completion of a game halted midway through the second period on Friday when Thunder Bay’s Pier-Luc Bellard crashed head first into the NorWest Arena boards.

Kam River led 1-0 at the time, on an Alex Enegren tally.

“That one felt weird. It was hard to get your mind back into it right away, but within a snap it just kind of felt like a normal game again, after that first shift,” said Lamoureux, a Winnipeg-born defenceman who started the season with the Carleton Place Canadians and had yet to score in 10 appearances with the Fighting Walleye.

“Starting in the D zone, don’t ask me about that. But getting right into, it felt pretty good.”

Kam River started the night with a 1-0 lead and 9:02 left on the second-period clock and neither team found the back of the net by the time the buzzer sounded to end the frame.

Stars captain Hunter Foreshew didn’t need much time to pot the equalizer in the third, ending Austin Madge’s shutout bid just 91 seconds after the opening puck drop, the lone goal of the period.

Both teams had their chances to end things in regulation, none better than Fighting Walleye forward Christian Veneruzzo, who slipped between a pair of Thunder Bay defenders late in the period, picked up a bouncing puck that caught the North Stars players off guard and marched in alone on goaltender Jordan Smith.

Smith, the wily veteran, stood his ground, foiling Veneruzzo’s backhand attempt, one of 37 shots the two teams combined for in the third alone.

It appeared the game was headed for a shootout as the final minute of overtime arrived, but Lamoureux had other ideas.

“I was real tired. It’s been quite the three days, so going out there I was just trying to keep it simple. (Enegren) set me up with the easiest goal of my life, I think. I just made it look pretty,” Lamoureux said.

“I think that was such a test for our team and such a battle of adversity. It’s huge to come away with all four points. These are huge games all year long and this is kind of how you become a playoff team.”

Kam River coach Matt Valley said it wasn’t an ordinary win, but he’ll take them any way he can get them at this point of the Superior International Junior Hockey League season.

“It was the longest two games of our lives,” Valley said. “It was very neat, very weird coming to the rink today. But once the puck dropped it just felt like a regular game. So it was kind of nice being up 1-0 in that game. It was a very odd scenario, but I’m very happy that Bellard is doing well and we got to finish the game.”

North Stars coach Rob DeGagne said he’s thrilled with the way the team played.

“We played good. This is the top team in our league right now. We haven’t made a ton of changes to our lineup. We’re going to make some changes, but boy we competed hard and we took them to overtime two nights,” he said. “With a little bounce here or there, you win both games.”

Smith made 56 saves for the Stars, while Madge was good on 51 of 52 shots he faced.

The Fighting Walleye host Thief River Falls on Thursday and Fort Frances on Friday. The North Stars host Thief River Falls on Friday and Saturday night.

Leith Dunick

About the Author: Leith Dunick

A proud Nova Scotian who has called Thunder Bay home since 2002, Leith is Dougall Media's director of news, but still likes to tell your stories too. Wants his Expos back and to see Neil Young at least one more time. Twitter: @LeithDunick
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