By James Brohm
Sioux Lookout, ON – After a tough weekend in Thunder Bay, the Sioux Lookout Bombers were happy to be back at the Hangar and back in the win column. The Lumberjacks made their first appearance in Sioux Lookout since last season’s game seven victory that sent them to round two of the playoffs.
Th Bombers and Lumberjacks skated pretty evenly for the first half of the first period. Wisconsin failed to capitalize on their first powerplay opportunity. The Bombers did on their first attempt, though. A good play to keep the puck in the Wisconsin zone by Kaden Veller played the puck up to Jonah Smith who made a cross-ice pass to Tait Howell. Howell buried the biscuit for his sixth of the season. Dayvan Bull added another power play marker less than three minutes later, just five seconds in to a tripping penalty to Wisconsin’s Zach Johnson for tripping. Bull got a point shot through to the net that may have hit a leg on the way through and just squeaked through Lumberjacks’ netminder William Forrester. The Bombers had the advantage in shots on goal with 16 to the Lumberjacks’ five.
The second period was a mostly defensive period. Wisconsin outshot Sioux Lookout 11-2 in the frame. Many of those shots came in the last five minutes of the period as the Bombers were killing off a 5 minute major penalty that was assessed to Peter Zilkalns for a check from behind. Matthew Spencer-Dahl put up a brick wall in the Bombers’ net to keep the Lumberjacks off the board. The teams retired to their locker rooms with the home team still up 2-0.
The first five minutes of the third period were somewhat choppy with no real flow to the game for either team. Neither team wanted to take any big chances for fear of making the mistake that would swing the momentum in the other team’s favour. The Bombers successfully defended the most dangerous lead in hockey for two and half periods and held on to win 2-0.
William Forrester was named third star of the game for his 28 save performance. Matthew Spencer-Dahl’s second shutout performance of the season earned him the second star. Kaden Veller, who picked his seventh assist and also played a solid defensive game, leading the Bombers in blocked shots was named first star. Attendance at the Hangar was 460.
The series continues Saturday night with a special game hosted by the First Nation community of Lac Seul, 45 minutes outside of Sioux Lookout. Puck drop at the Lac Seul Events Centre is set for 7:30pm