By Gary Moskalyk
Thunder Bay, ON – Nikolas Campbell had a natural hat trick, Sam Skillestad notched a pair and Thunder Bay scored five unanswered in the second period to defeat Dryden 5-2 before 701 fans at the Gardens.
Thunder Bay has fought back from a 3-1 series deficit to force a game seven.
Max Roby had a pair for Dryden, opening the scoring at 14:49 with a glove side snap shot, and closing the scoring by playing third period carom off the back boards and firing it past Stars’ goaltender Keenan Marks.
The second period belonged to the Stars, who fired 20 shots at the Dryden cage, chasing starter Eric Clark after Campbell’s hatty at 17:37 of the middle frame.
Skillestad tied the game at 3:32 of the middle frame on an unassisted high-blocker snipe.
Campbell scored his 8th, 9th and 10th of the playoffs to give the Stars a 4-1 lead.
He went high blocker at 7:42 on a 2-on-1, scored a Thunder Bay powerplay at 11:06, and tucked one past Clark on the Dryden doorstep at 17:37.
With McLaren Paulsen off for spearing, Skillestad picked up his 4th goal of the playoffs with a one-timer past Zac MacDonald with 31 seconds left in the period.
Roby’s mid-third period strike ended the scoring.
Skillestad added an assist for a three-point game. Fuchs had three assists and Colby Feist had two helpers.
Marks stopped 25 of 27 for the win. His poke check stop against Dryden’s Kaden Bandura on a breakaway early in the second was a key stop to keep Dryden at 1-0 before the Stars’ uprising.
Clark shunted aside 26 of 30, and MacDonald saved 11 of 12.
Dryden took 19 minutes in penalties to Thunder Bay’s six. The Stars were 2-7 with the man advantage. Dryden was 0-2.
Neither team will have much time to collect their thoughts. Both are traveling back to Dryden for game seven in 21 hours.