Heading south

Former Thunder Bay North Stars forward Keighan Gerrie, centre, battles for the puck with Matt Halushak during the junior A hockey team’s training camp at Port Arthur Arena on Friday.

Nothing about Keighan Gerrie’s scorching two-year career in the Superior International Junior Hockey was subtle. Except for perhaps it’s unofficial end.

Gerrie wrapped up a two-day, on-ice session with his former team, the Thunder Bay North Stars, on Saturday before heading to the Waterloo Blackhawks of the United States Hockey League. The 18-year-old Thunder Bay native is moving to the next level in preparation for the NCAA ranks with Bowling Green next fall.

Still, it was one last chance for Gerrie to wear the North Stars colours one last time — even if it wasn’t in a real game.

“Probably the last time I’m going to see some of the guys for awhile,” Gerrie said.

“It’s good to come back out for some good skates and get ready for the season coming up.”

Gerrie, the 2018 rookie of the year, lit up the league last season winning the scoring title with 102 points in 54 games. The total tied North Stars teammate Kyle Auger, but Gerrie got the nod with his 41 goals to Auger’s 33. Gerrie went on to help lead Thunder Bay to its first Bill Salonen Cup title and earned league playoff MVP honours along the way.

Just a small part of Gerrie considered staying for a third season and taking another run at landing a berth at the Canadian junior A tournament with his hometown club, but ultimately returning to the league would stunt his growth as a player.

“I just thought it was time to move on,” said Gerrie, who notched 153 points in 107 SIJHL regular season games and 26 points in 18 playoff contests.

“It would have been nice to stay, but I think it’s best to start going on to different things.”

See the full story in the print and digital editions of The Chronicle-Journal

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