The North Stars captured the 2020 Bantam Elite League Major Division championship with a 9-5 win over the Bolts on Saturday afternoon.
North means North, and on Saturday afternoon, North also meant champions.
The North Stars captured the Bantam Elite League’s Major Division crown with a resounding 9-5 win over the Bolts, a team rolling just two forward lines and battling fatigue throughout the game’s two halves.
Made up of players from across Minnesota’s northland, the North Stars blasted through the gates early in the game, scoring three goals in the first seven minutes of the opening half en route to earning a 5-3 lead at halftime.
For every step the Bolts took forward, the North Stars took two. For every single goal the Bolts’ Tanner Bruender scored (three), the North Stars answered with a pair of their own. That type of uneven seesawing grinds down a team, and the Bolts were no exception as the contest wore on.
Kade Kohanski and Gavin Jensen each scored twice in the first half to the North Stars, with Thomas Gunderson adding a single goal and assisting on another. Tanner Bruender notched two of his goals in the first and assisted on Ryan Madigan’s tally. Two goals from both Will Esterbrooks and Evan Gunderson allowed the North Stars to reach nine scores, while Bruender and Easton Swift were the goal-scorers for the Bolts in the second half.
Goaltenders Connor Woidtke and Dane Callaway combined to stop 31 of 36 shots for the North Stars, while Lucas Schanno and Isaiah Paulnock denied the North Stars on 25 of 34 shots.
Tanner Brunder scored three goals and added two assists in the Bolts' loss in Saturday's finale.
Gavin Jensen picked up a pair of goals in the North Stars' 9-5 win over the Bolts.
Ryan Flaherty scored in the shootout for the Bolts on Saturday morning.
The North Stars' Gavin Jensen scores the game-winner in Saturday's semifinal shootout win over North Dakota.