The 1996 Northern Storm defeated the 1996 Western Wisconsin Blue Devils 3-2 in the championship game in the first ever “Battle by The Bay” AAA hockey tournament May 28-31 at the Duluth Heritage Center in Duluth.
The Storm took a 1-0 lead when Aaron Wakefield scored a shorthanded goal 44 seconds into the second period with an assist from Ty Birdsall.
The Blue Devils answered with a power-play goal at 4:13 of the second period to tie the game at 1-1. They continued to pressure the Storm and eventually took a 2-1 lead at 7:28 of the second period. But with 2:28 left in the second period, Kyler Chartier scored for the Storm to tie the game at 2-2. Assisting on Chartier’s goal was John McKenna and Jack Dodd.
The tie didn’t last for long in the third period as Wakefield scored his second goal of the game just 12 seconds into the action to give the Storm a 3-2 lead, which is the way the game would end.
Storm goalie Paxton Paine made 10 of his 24 saves in the third period.
Team members include forwards Jacob Decaro, Jack Dodd, Sam Hegg, Cam McClure, John McKenna, Trey Opec and Colton Perkins; defensemen Derek Farrell, Kyle Jones, Bryton Lutzka, and Nick Thompson.
TOURNEY NOTES: Paine was named '96 Battle of the Bay tournament MVP, registering two shutouts and a GAA of 1.25. … The ’96 Northern Storm team is based out of the Twin Ports and consists of 11 players from Duluth, two from Hibbing and two from Superior (Wakefield and Paine). … The 2009 "Battle of the Bay" was the first ever AAA hockey tournament hosted by the Northern Storm organization and featured five different age classifications and 31 teams.