By Bryan Smeltzer
Oliver Paipoonge, ON – The Sioux Lookout Bombers rolled into NorWest Arena on Friday night and did what no team has ever done: shut out the Fighting Walleye in their own barn.
The clean sheet was thanks in large part to Jake Manners, the Bombers’ 20-year-old goaltender from Ardrossan, Alberta, who made 47 saves on the night to record his first shutout of the season.
The first period of the contest was controlled by Sioux Lookout, who fired 21 shots on the Walleye, and connected for goals on 3 of them. Two of the Bombers goals, both by Blake Burke, were scored with the man advantage.
The ensuing two periods were more tightly contested, but the first place Fighting Walleye couldn’t break through the disciplined Bombers defensive game and the stellar goaltending of Manners.
Despite outshooting Sioux Lookout by a 34-19 margin over the final two periods, Kam River came away empty-handed in the goal department on the night. The Bombers added an empty netter in the dying seconds of the 3rd period to cement the victory.
The two teams meet again on Saturday night at NorWest Arena, in what is sure to be another highly entertaining matchup. Puck drop is 7:30 PM Eastern.