Skip to content

Fuchs nets hat trick in return from injury

Thunder Bay routs Fort Frances 8-2 on Tuesday night at Fort William Gardens.

THUNDER BAY – The trade for Jamie Fuchs has paid early dividends for the Thunder Bay North Stars.

In nine games since being acquired from the Steinbach Pistons of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, the 18-year-old Surrey, B.C. native has put up six goals and 12 points, injecting a much needed jolt of offense on a North Stars team looking up at four teams in front of them in the Superior International Junior Hockey League standings.

Three of the goals came in Wednesday night’s 8-2 home-ice win over the Fort Frances Lakers, staged in front of 225 fans at Fort William Gardens. Not bad for a guy playing his first game in seven weeks, returning from a pretty severe groin injury, playing alongside new linemates Nikolas Campbell and Colby Feist.

“It was tough going through the injury and having seven weeks off, but I'm just happy to be back with the boys, playing again, playing the game that I love. It was good to get three tonight," Fuchs said. 

Coach Rob DeGagne said goals are exactly why he traded for the teen, who put up just two points in eight games with the Pistons before the Nov. 1, 2022 deal. 

"He had a great start when he came here, then he got hurt. He's just kind of a kid who has a knack for the net. He's got a good shot, he keeps his head up, moves the puck well. That line moved the puck well at times, and that's really the first time they've played together. They should get better as it goes on," DeGagne said. 

The trio combined for nine points on the night, Feist scoring once and adding three assists and Campbell picking up helpers on the game's first two goals, giving him four points in four games since returning to the SIJHL after two seasons with Amarillo of the North American Hockey League. 

The Stars, who have played fewer games than every club in the league, have a realistic shot at finishing anywhere from second to sixth in the seven-team circuit, as they try to gain ground making up the games in hand.

“In the standings right now, we're kind of low. But we have a lot more skill than the standings show. It's just one game at a time and we've just got to get the wins," Fuchs said. 

The Stars managed to grab two of the eight points that separate them from the fourth-place Red Lake Miners, coming at the expense of the last-place Lakers, a team that’s won just five times in 32 outings this season.

Jamie Fuchs had a goal and two assists for Thunder Bay, who owned a 2-0 lead at the first period intermission after outshooting the Lakers 20-3 in the opening frame.

The Lakers showed a little more life in the second, but only scored twice on 16 shots in the period. The North Stars, who fired a more modest 14 shots on Fort Frances goaltender Brenden Stroble in the period, picked up four more.

Captain Matthew Halushak started the onslaught on the power play, beating Stroble on a partially screened shot just 68 seconds after the puck drop to start the period.

Ryker Watt spoiled Keenan Marks’ shutout bid 37 seconds later, completing a 2-on-1 with a cross-crease feed from Ian Snooks, but Noah Broughton restored the three-goal Thunder Bay lead at 5:53 of the second, going five-hole on Stroble for a 4-1 North Stars advantage.

E.J. Paddington tipped home his seventh of the season at 14:25 to up the lead to four, but the Lakers cut into their deficit  again with 3:46 to go in the period, pouncing on a rebound off of Brady Krentz’s wild shot from the point, catching Marks going the other way. That was it for the Lakers offence, the team's goal-scoring woes returning in a four-shot third. 

Thunder Bay scored three unanswered to close out the contest, Fuchs netting his second at 17:19 of the second and completing the hat trick in the third. Liam Murdoch scored 37 seconds later to wrap up the scoring. 

: 1. Thunder Bay, Fuchs 4 (Feist, Campbell) 4:31. 2. Thunder Bay, Feist 7 (Weeks, Campbell) 12:22. Penalties: Desjardins TB (cross checking) 9:49, Rideout FF (cross checking) 13:11.

: 3. Thunder Bay, Halushak (Feist) 1:08 pp. 4. Fort Frances, Watt (Snooks, Scaddan) 1:45. 5. Thunder Bay, Broughton (Weeks, Bertrand) 5:13 sh. 6. Thunder Bay, Paddington (Murdoch, Weeks) 14:25. 7. Fort Frances, Bond (Krentz, Wedward) 16:44. 8. Thunder Bay, Fuchs (Feist) 17:19. Penalties: Gartzke FF (high sticking) 0:04, Trahiotis 1:48, Murdoch TB (tripping) 4:37, Broughton TB (roughing) 19:16.

: 9. Thunder Bay, Fuchs 6 (Voisey, Murdoch) 13:07. 10. Thunder Bay, Murdoch (Voisey, Dickie) 13:44. Penalties: Wesley TB (unsportsmanlike conduct) 2:18, Sanderson FF (high sticking) 4:37, Halushak TB (interference) 17:36, Dickie TB, Scaddan FF (fighting majors, game misconducts) 18:07.

GAME DATA SOG – Fort Frances 3-16-4-23, Thunder Bay 20-14-16-50; Power plays (goals-chances) – Fort Frances (0-6), Thunder Bay (1-3); Goaltenders – Fort Frances: Brenden Stroble, Thunder Bay: Keenan Marks; A: 225.


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
Read more


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks