HOYT LAKES, Minn. – Thunder Bay North Stars defenceman Kyle Auger is in the driver’s seat in the Superior International Junior Hockey League scoring race.
The star blue-liner notched his 30th goal of the season in Wednesday night’s 10-1 road win over the hapless Minnesota Iron Rangers, adding three assists to take solo possession of the scoring lead, his 99 points giving him a four-point cushion over teammate Keighan Gerrie and Red Lake’s Bryce Young.
Auger is looking to become the first defenceman in SIJHL history to top 100 points, needing just one in the Stars final two games this weekend.
The last North Star player to top the century mark was Daniel Del Paggio in 2013-14.
He’s also hoping to become the first defender to capture the league scoring title.
Thunder Bay captain Ryan Mignault also edged closer to a personal milestone, scoring twice to give himself 47 on the year, three shy of his 50-goal target. Only four players in the history of the league have hit the 50-goal mark, including Young this season.
Michael Stubbs scored twice for the visitors, with singles going to Ben Erwin, Evan Nicholas, Joel Willan and Jacob Anttonen.
Erik Engdahl was the only Iron Ranger to put a puck past Thunder Bay goalie Dougie Newhouse, who only faced 14 shots on the night to improve to 25-3-0 on the season.
Thunder Bay (48-4-2) wraps up regular-season play at home on Friday night against Red Lake and Saturday night against 3-50-0 Minnesota, who have set a dubious single-season record in 2018-19, allowing 456 goals, 24 more than the 432 surrendered in 2011-12 by the Iron Range Ironheads.
With 345 goals, the North Stars, who have earned a first-round bye, are within eight of the league record 353 scored by the 2005-06 Fort William North Stars.