By Gary Moskalyk
Jeremy Dunmore and Max Leduc scored two goals each, and head coach Geoff Walker called a pivotal time out, as the Kam River Fighting Walleye regained some swagger with a 5-2 win over the Thunder Bay North Stars.
The Walleye overcame a 2-0 deficit, scored the next five, and tightened the series to 2-1, snapping the Stars five-game winning streak.
Nikolas Campbell picked up his own rebound and fired in his 12th of the playoffs from tight quarters for a 1-0 Stars lead at 3:51 of the first. Dimitri Trahiotis tipped in Carter Anton’s shot for a 2-0 lead.
Walker called his time out to settle the troops. Just 19 seconds later Stars goalie Keenan Marks misplayed a dump in, Kam River recovered the loose puck, and Jeremy Dunmore tallied his 4th of the post-season to make it 2-1.
Logan Gallaher, out for a long stretch with an injury, slapped in his first of the playoffs from the point 46 seconds later to knot the score. Kam River killed off a pair of first period penalties, including 80 seconds of 5-on-3.
Leduc scored two in the second. He picked up a rebound at 13:31 and then got his 5th just 44 seconds later on wrist shot blocker side that eluded Marks from distance.
That signaled a goalie change, bringing in Conner Lemieux. He ended up stopping all nine of the shots he faced the rest of the way.
Dunmore scored his second goal into an empty cage at 18:27 of the third to finalize the scoring.
Leduc added an assist for a three-point night. Ethan Lang had three assists for Kam River. Eric Vanska saved 22 of 24 for his 5th win, and took over the playoff goals against lead, lowering his mark to 2.24. Marks still tops the SIJHL with a .935 save percentage. He stopped 15 of 19.
Kam River killed off all four of their penalties. Thunder Bay took just one minor penalty in the game.
Kam River’s Isiah Kinnavanthong took a puck to the face in the second but was able to skate off with assistance.
A crowd of 1,582 were in the Gardens.