THUNDER BAY – The Thunder Bay North Stars may go down, but they don’t stay there for long.
Three days after seeing their 12-game winning streaking come to an end at the hands of the Red Lake Miners, the North Stars rebounded in a big way on Tuesday night, slamming the visiting Fort Frances Lakers 9-1 at Fort William Gardens to improve to 47-4-2.
Keighan Gerrie scored once and added a pair of helpers, while defenceman Kyle Auger had three assists to tie Red Lake’s Bryce Young atop the Superior International Junior Hockey League scoring parade in the final week of the season at 95 points – a league record for blue-liners.
Gerrie sits just two back, with 38 goals and 55 assists, as the regular season enters its final week.
Maxim Fortin, Jayden Mrakic and Ben Erwin staked the North Stars to a 3-0 lead in the first before Noah Loveday finally pushed a puck past Dougie Newhouse in the Thunder Bay net with 1:34 to go in the opening period.
It was all North Stars after that.
Brendan Gillis, Gerrie and Matthew Halushak, with his third of the year, doubled the home side’s output in the second and they scored three more in the third, singles going to Jonathan Kilby, captain Ryan Mignault, whose quest for 50 goals became more attainable with his 45th of 2018-19, and Jacob Brown beating Lakers goalie Matt Booth.
Booth took over from Jacob Gnidezeijko early in the second, after the latter gave up a pair of goals in the first 2:48 of the period.
With 66 assists, Auger has an outside shot at the league record of 73, set in 2006-07 by the Schreiber Diesels Chris Bryson, who set the league’s single-season point mark at 129. Only eight players in league history have topped 100 points.
The North Stars take on Minnesota on the road on Wednesday, then close out the regular season at home on Friday and Saturday night against Red Lake and Minnesota.