THUNDER BAY – The second period did in the Thunder Bay North Stars Friday night on the road.
The front-running Superior International Junior Hockey League club lost for just the second time in regulation all season long, the host Red Lake Miners beating Dougie Newhouse three times in the middle stanza to capture a 3-1 triumph.
Michael Di Lullo scored twice and Morgan Venne opened the scoring 40 seconds into the period, Di Lullo adding a helper, to give the Miners all the offence they needed.
Ryan Mignault scored his team-leading 25th of the season for the Stars, midway through the third.
Zach Willms and Vince Benedetto combined to make 30 saves in a winning effort. Newhouse faced 21 shots on the night, stopping 18.
The North Stars, who now lead Red Lake by just three points, with four games in hand, fell to 21-2-2, after suffering a second straight defeat.
The Miners improved to 20-8-1.
The two teams will tangle again on Saturday night at Cochenour Arena.