Thistles Pick Up Point In Season Opener

The U18 ‘AAA’ Kenora Thistles came away with a point from their season open as they fell 3-2 in the shootout to the Winnipeg Bruins.

Jack Noel got the scoring started in the second, his first as a Thistle, with an assist from Cayson Lambert. Both played in their home town of Dryden, Ontario last season; Noel with the Dryden Eagles (NorWOSSA) and Lambert with the Dryden PaperKings (U15).

The Bruins would tie things up just over five minutes later on the power play as Tyler Free knocked home a rebound from Brock Assailly’s point shot. Lucas Boulanger picked up the secondary assist on the goal.

The two teams would each score another in the third period; Cole Bodnar for Kenora (assist to Lambert) and Shea Chornley for Winniepg (assists to Free and Tyriece Pattyn).

Overtime didn’t solve anything, which meant a shootout was required.

The shootout went eight rounds, and ended with the Bruins skating away with the extra point. Lambert went up three times in the shootout, and said that it got more challenging each time. “It’s hard to stay focused and switch up the dekes,” said Lambert, “just to figure out where the goalie is going and moving around”.

James Hill was incredible in net for the Thistles, stopping 38 of the 40 shots he faced in regulation and the overtime period.

Despite coming up just short, Lambert said that the team is proud of themselves for how they played. “I think we battled hard and didn’t give up…it easily could have gone either way”.

Next up for Kenora is a trip to Beasejour Sunday afternoon to face the EastMan Selects. Puckdrop from the Sun Gro Centre is set for 3:00pm CST.

That game, as well as all Manitoba U18 ‘AAA’ Hockey League games, will be broadcast on FloHockey.