By Gary Moskalyk
Thunder Bay. ON – Ashton Sadauskas won his 12th game in net, Jeremy Dunmore and Jett Mintenko scored in the third period as the first place Kam River defeated Thunder Bay 5-2 before 835 fans at Fort William Gardens.
The win kept Kam River tied for first, while Thunder Bay’s loss coupled with Dryden’s OT win, slid the Stars into 4th place. Three points separate the top four teams in the SIJHL.
Tyler Jordan scored from behind the net, banking one off Sadauskas at 7:36 for a 1-0 Thunder Bay lead. Riley Borody tied it at 13:07, firing a rebound past Keenan Marks for Kam’s first of two powerplay goals.
Carter Nailen fed Carter Poddubny in the slot and the Fighting rookie made it 2-1 at 15:41 with his 12th to close out the first period.
A glove side rebound found Nickolas Fagnilli’s stick at 4:42 of the second as the Walleye went ahead 3-1 for their second power play goal. New North Star acquisition Tristen Bear passed from behind the net to Keegan Jones who squeezed it past Sadauskas to close the gap to one.
Jeremy Dunmore scored 33 seconds into the third period to give Kam River a 4-2 lead. Jett Mintenko fired home an empty net marker with 3:06 left to account for all the goals. Thunder Bay was able to pull Marks yet again, and a pair of Walleye penalties gave Thunder Bay an extended 6-on-3 but the Stars could not cash.
Thunder Bay’s big line of Easton Mikus, Edison Weeks and EJ Paddington was shut out as Kam River maintained a hold on first place, tied with Sioux Lookout with 34 points each. The Walleye have three games in hand.
Dunmore and Borody also had assists, and Liam Bell had two helpers for Kam River. Ryan Daponte played his first game for the Walleye.
The Fighting Walleye took 38 of 52 penalty minutes, many of them late in the third.
Game Two is Saturday.