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Thunder Bay North Stars on the offensive in their 5-2 victory which forces a Game 7 against the Dryden Ice Dogs (Adam Riley/Acadia Broadcasting)

North Stars push a Game 7

By Adam Riley Apr 20, 2023 | 12:22 AM

In it to win it, must have been the mantra running through the heads of the Thunder Bay North Stars as they pushed a Game 7 Wednesday night at the Fort William Gardens, downing the Dryden Ice Dogs 5-2.

15 minutes into the 1st the Ice Dogs drew first blood as Max Roby put the puck past Thunder Bay’s Keenan Marks.

But early in the 2nd a blast of life erupted into the Fort William Gardens with Sam Skillestad working it by himself and finding the top corner of the Ice Dogs net.

5 minutes later the North Stars strike again Nikolas Campbell with and assist from Colby Feist and Skillestad.

But the goal train kept on rolling in Campbell grabs a second off a power play, 10 seconds after a 2 man advantage ended.

2 minutes left after a bit of playing rough, its Campbell again picking himself up a natural hat trick and its 4-1 North Stars.

“You build up all year for this right, its playoffs, its what brings out the best in players, and I was happy I could perform for them.” said Campbell speaking with media after the game.

Coach Robert DeGagne says those three in a row, were what he was looking for when he brought Campbell back

“He’s a player, right and he’s a good leader, he’s a 20 year old you’d expect that from him but the kid can shoot the puck, the kid can make plays, the kid can score.”

Ice Dogs saying enough is enough and recall Eric Clark from the net, Zac MacDonald would serve the rest of the game.

It was at this point, things started getting really rough, with Dryden going on the physical offensive.

First with Mason Wesley going down awkwardly and is forced to leave the ice with assistance.

Another injury picked up by the North Stars as Easton Glousher goes down after getting speared by McLaren Paulsen, and as a result the officials hit the eject button on him.

Easton Glousher lays on the ice after getting speared by McLaren Paulsen (Adam Riley/Acadia Broadcasting)

But those injuries only lit a fire in the bellies of Thunder Bay, 31 seconds left in the 3rd, Skillestad finds the back of the net again and its 5-1 Stars.

3rd period Dryden manages to plug the leak with Roby picking up his second of the night.

A few more penalties picked up in the final five minutes of the game by players on both sides.

The fate of both teams will now be decided by a Game 7.

Being tired after playing three straight and by extension having to win three straight is of no worry to Campbell.

“Definitely feeling it, but its part of junior hockey so I love it, you learn to love it.”

For DeGagne he is feeling pretty positive going into enemy territory for a Game 7.

“We beat them twice already there in this series  out the three games  and actually the second game we gave up a two goal lead we actually gave them that game.”

Game 7 will take place Thursday night at the Dryden Memorial Arena.


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