The Wisconsin Lumberjacks comeback attempt fell just short as Kam River held on to win, giving the Jacks their 5th straight loss on the campaign.
It was all Kam River early as they outshot the Lumberjacks 8-2 in route to scoring 2 goals in the first 6 minutes, one off the stick of Ryland Semaniuk and another from Brodie McLeod. The Lumberjacks would respond under 2 minutes later with a powerplay goal scored by SIJHL scoring leader Ryder McMillen. Things would quiet down on the scoresheet, but multiple penalties were taken through the rest of the frame.
Kam River would spend most of the 2nd period in the box but the Wisconsin power play struggled, ending the night 1 for 6. Anthony Oviedo would score the lone goal of the 2nd period 7 minutes in giving Kam River a 3-1 lead.
In the third period ‘06 born Max Leduc would tap in a rebound that turned into the eventual game winner, and a 4-1 advantage for the Fighting Walleye. The Lumberjacks would find offense from the blue line in the third with both goals originating from the top of the zone. The first was shot from the point by McMillen and tipped in by Salvatore Poggiali, the second a laser from Ryan Nutt. The Lumberjacks would pull goaltender Kyler Lowden with 50 seconds remaining but, the comeback fell short as Kam River scored an empty netter with 11 seconds left to seal the deal.
Kyler Lowden stopped 36 of 40 shots on the night and Eric Vanska had 46 saves in a winning effort. Attendance at the Spooner Civic Center was 251
After the game Lumberjack’s captain Poggiali talked about the Jacks being so close to getting over the hump, losing a lot of a one goal games. “We know we are doing a lot of good things and staying close to good teams. We just have to clean up the areas we are struggling, play our game, and the results will come. It really comes down to us putting in a full 60 minutes every night” Wisconsin has brought in a number of new players recently and Poggiali talked about efforts to build chemistry, “It’s tough with new guys and a lot of different lineups but we just try to spend as much time together as possible both in and outside of the rink.” With Wisconsin being on the road for games in Red Lake and Dryden this weekend the players will have plenty of time to get to know one another.
Over on the Kam River side they are looking good amid uncertainty around the coaching position. Interim coach Vern Ray talked about his team’s performance,”The team is playing good hockey and we really focus on not changing too much in the interim, letting them play their game. We haven’t changed much on the powerplay. We are keeping our same lines as even strength and seeing if they can’t get something going. One area I am really happy with is the faceoff circle. We were a mediocre team 10 days ago, worked hard on it, and were dominant tonight.”
Kam River will have a week off playing again on the 16th against Fort Frances.