Oliver Paipoonge, Ontario – For the second straight night, the Kam River Fighting Walleye found a way to win over a tough, hard-working Dryden GM Ice Dogs team. And, much like the first game of the series on Friday, the crowd of 421 witnessed the rivalry between the two teams continue to get more heated by the shift.
It was a dream start for Kam River after Tyler Ralph banged in a rebound just 16 seconds into the game. It was Ralph's 4th goal of the season in just 5 games, as the 20 year-old forward from Grande Prairie, Alberta only recently returned from injury.
The 1-0 lead would hold up until the five minute mark of the 2nd period, when Dryden's Derek Koivisto tied the game with a short-handed marker, his 7th of the season. The Walleye answered back five minutes later, when Trenton Morriseau buried the rebound off a Zach Fortin point shot for his 4th of the campaign. The Ice Dogs once again tied the contest with a short-handed goal, this time off the stick of Jackson Jacques, who scored his first of the season. The trading of goals would continue as Braeden Duchesne, just coming out of the penalty box after serving a bench minor, took a Christian Veneruzzo breakaway pass and beat Dryden goaltender Jordan Belley to give Kam River a 3-2 lead. The goal was Duchesne's 2nd of the season, and it would stand as the game-winner.
Tensions boiled over in the third period, when Walleye captain Zach Fortin took exception to a questionable Dryden hit. Fortin and Ice Dogs captain Cameron Ware were ejected for fighting as a result of the melee that ensued. With 21 seconds left, the Walleye found themselves short-handed, and after Dryden pulled Belley for the extra attacker, the home team had to kill off a 6-on-4 advantage to preserve the victory. Eric Vanska, who stopped 42 of 44 shots on the night to earn his 3rd victory of the season, stood tall in the Kam River net to secure the 2 points for his team.
It was the sixth straight win for Kam River, who have moved into 2nd place in the SIJHL standings, 4 points behind the 1st place Red Lake Miners with two games in hand. The Fighting Walleye are a perfect 5-0 on home ice thus far.
The Walleye next play the Fort Frances Lakers in a back-to-back home and home series next weekend. Kam River travels to Fort on Friday, before heading back to Oliver Paipoonge to host the Lakers at home on Saturday night.
The Ice Dogs travel to the U.S. for the first time this season next weekend, where they take on the Thief River Falls Norskies on Friday and Saturday.
0:16 KRW Ralph (4), Asst: Fortin, Veneruzzo
5:00 DRY Koivisto (7), Asst: Takats, Frattinger (SH)
10:15 KRW Morriseau (4), Asst: Lang, Fortin
15:14 DRY Jacques (1), Asst: None (SH)
18:16 KRW Duchesne (2), Asst: Veneruzzo, Goodman
G and G Excavating 3 Stars
1st – Braeden Duchesne
2nd – Zach Fortin
3rd – Eric Vanska