By Gary Moskalyk
24 Games 5-19-0 Points 10 W Pct .208
7th place, 9 points back of 6th place Wisconsin, three games in hand on Wisconsin
GF 53 GA 137 -84
GFPG 2.21 GAPG 5.71 -3.50 goals per game differential
Penalty minutes 19.2 per game
PP% 15.1 PK% 69.6, Shorthanded GF 3, Shorthanded GA 8 Shutouts 0
TOP SCORERS GP G-A-PTS
Ryker Watt (24 GP, 9G-8A-17 PTS), Clark Scaddan (22 GP, 8G-6A-14 PTS), Kevin Bond (18 GP, 6G-6A-12 PTS), Eli Neilsen Defence Total (23 GP, 3G-8A-11 PTS), Cooper Fink Rookie Total (26GP, 3G-7A-10 PTS), Ian Snooks (24 GP, 1G-9A-10 PTS), Dylan Wedward (24 GP, 6G-2A-8 PTS), Josh Greene Defence Total (16 GP, 2G-6A-8 PTS).
GOALIES GP W-L-T GAA SV% Shutouts Minutes)
Ryan Tanner (11 GP, 1-8-0, 5.52, .889, SO 0, 587)
Brendan Stroble (13 GP, 3-9-0, 6.09, .884, SO 0, 660)
There’s a new sheriff in town. Former head coach Paul MacLean has been replaced by assistant coach Tyler Miller. Miller has been an assistant coach since November 2021. A Fort Frances native, he’s had a front row seat to years of upheaval with his home town team.
“The route we went this year, we have the youngest team in the SIJHL,” said Miller. “We might have 12 18-year-olds. Maybe a little more. We are going to have some growth here in the year. . . Just more professionalism from everyone, from the coaching staff down to the players. More organization.”
Miller, 34, brings some player credentials to his new job as head coach. He played in the OPJHL with the Port Hope Predators. In 2008-09 he had his best season–40 goals and 113 points–splitting time with the Predators and the old Thunder Bay Bearcats of the SIJHL. In 56 games he had 89 penalty minutes, a true power forward if there ever was one.
Thunder Bay’s Brandon Bodnar is Miller’s assistant coach. Bodnar is also a Fort Frances native. The 25-year-old went through the Thunder Bay Kings organization, tended goal with the SIJHL Lakers for two years, squeezed in a campaign with the North Stars, and played with Lakehead University. In 2015-16, he recorded a 1.94 GAA and .935 SV% for Fort Frances. More importantly, he went 18-4-0 for a team with multiple championship banners hanging in the arena, including that very season.
Joe Basaraba also helped out with the team.
Fort Frances won the Bill Salonen title three years in a row from 2014-16. They’re looking to return to those roots.
“We’re here to write our own story. This is chapter one, it’s turning the page,” said Miller.
“I’m excited, nervous, anxious,” added Miller. “I was fortunate to play in Fort Frances growing up. There are lots of good resources in this community, guys who played the game who I can reach out to. . . I do enjoy coaching. It’s something I’m passionate about. Once you’re done playing you’re looking to fill that gap. Coaching’s been that gap-filler for me.”