Oliver Paipoonge, ON – It was a battle of SIJHL heavyweights at NorWest Arena on Friday night, and Round 1 went decisively to the Kam River Fighting Walleye.
In the first meeting between Kam River and Red Lake since October 9th, the Walleye showed they were deserving of their top ten national ranking by outplaying and outscoring a talented and deep Miners squad.
Collin Wiseman opened the scoring at the 12-minute mark of the 1st, his wrist shot from the point sailing over the glove hand of Miners goaltender Kiev Kineshanko and into the top corner. It was Wiseman's first goal of the season, and a much needed early marker for the Walleye after their offence had only produced one goal in their previous two games. Kam River took a 2-0 lead with a minute left in the opening frame when Carson Gorst tipped affiliate player Brodie McLeod's point shot home for his 4th goal of the campaign.
The second period saw one of the Walleye's hardest working players finally get rewarded for his efforts. Mackenzie Sedgwick, defensive specialist and penalty killing extraordinaire, was awarded a penalty shot after being slashed on a breakaway. Sedgwick, who had just finished helping the Walleye kill off a 5-on-3 disadvantage when he was sprung on the break, went to his backhand and tucked the puck home for his first goal of the season. Just 30 seconds later, while still killing off a penalty, Sedgwick made a pretty 2-on-1 pass to Kersey Reich who snapped the puck into the top corner for his first goal in a Walleye uniform. The Fish skated to their dressing room with a 4-0 lead after 40 minutes of play.
After Ethan Lang pounced on a rebound for his 7th goal of the season to make the score 5-0 Walleye early in the third, the Miners found a little life with 2 goals to close the gap to 5-2. Noah Kramps buried his 6th of the season on the powerplay, and Carter Albrecht scored his 7th to give Red Lake some momentum. Walleye goaltender Austin Madge made several key saves in the third to thwart the Miners comeback attempt. Calvin Morrow scored his first of the season with a minute left to round out the scoring.
Madge was once again outstanding in net for Kam River, stopping 43 of 45 shots for his leage-leading 6th win of the season.
The Fighting Walleye and Miners meet again on Saturday night at NorWest Arena in what should be another exciting matchup.
12:27 KRW Wiseman (1), Asst: Morriseau, Lang
19:04 KRW Gorst (4), Asst: McLeod, Crysler
13:15 KRW Sedgwick (1), Asst: None (PS)
13:48 KRW Reich (1), Asst: Sedgwick, Veneruzzo
6:47 KRW Lang (7), Asst: Morriseau, Enegren (PP)
9:49 RLM Kramps (6), Asst: Hunter, Pool (PP)
14:47 RLM Albrecht (7), Asst: E. Parker
19:10 KRW Morrow (1), Asst: Wiseman, Gorst
G and G Excavating 3 Stars
1st – Mackenzie Sedgwick
2nd – Collin Wiseman
3rd – Kersey Reich