SIJHL Opening Weekend Recap

September 28, 2022

By Gary Moskalyk


The SIJHL opened the 2022-23 with five weekend games featuring six of the seven franchises in action.

The visiting Kam River Fighting Walleye swept the Dryden Ice Dogs. Wisconsin swept Red Lake at home, and Thunder Bay rode their newly acquired MCI J4500 team bus into Fort Frances on Saturday and skated to a convincing 8-1 win under their seat belts, only to later learn they would be forfeiting on account of an ineligible player.

Kam River 5 Dryden 2 Friday,
Kam River 2 Dryden 1 Saturday

Goaltender Kai Vanska and the visiting Fighting Walleye took two against Ice Dogs over weekend.

In Game One Dryden opened the scoring at 4:46 of the first on a marker by James Hooton. Kam River would notch the next two–Cooper Fink and Logan Gallagher–in the frame to skate off with a 2-1 lead.

The teams traded goals in the second period. Braeden Duchesne would up the ante to 3-1 before Landen Stromme would tighten up the contest with less than a minute to go with a short-handed effort.

Ethan Lang notched a pair in the third period. His first at 12:35, his second an empty-netter at 18:58. Lang also picked up an assist for a three-point night. Carson Gorst had a pair of assists for Kam.

Eric Clark suffered the loss for Dryden. Attendance was announced at 700. The Walleye were 1-6 on the powerplay, while Dryden was 0-3 with a man advantage. Shots were unavailable.

Referees Andrew Bartlett and Kevin Bragnalo assessed 47 minutes in penalties, 17 to Kam River, 30 to Dryden.

In Game Two, Kam River scored on the power play with 23 seconds left in the first period on a goal from Euan Morrison. Cooper Fink and Holden Woodcroft collected assists.

Dryden’s power play replied at 5:43 of the second. Stromme converted on an assist from Ryland Semaniuk. Kam River’s Braeden Duchesne would score the game winner at 16:19 of the second on assists from Eli Neilsen and Daxton Lang.

Zac MacDonald tended goal took the loss in net from Dryden, but was named second star of the game. Vanska was named first.

Kam River collected 26 of 42 penalty minutes assessed in the game. The Walleye were 1-6 with a man advantage while the Ice Dogs clicked once in seven opportunities.

Announced attendance was 500.

Wisconsin 5 Red Lake 2 Friday, Wisconsin 4 Red Lake 2 Saturday

Game One. The Lumberjacks were never behind in their season-opener at home in Spooner, WI.

Ryder McMillen opened the scoring at 3:55 of the first, and would add a pair of assists later to tie him with Lang in the scoring race after day one.

Zach Carson opened up a 2-0 lead before Red lake’s R.J. Dickie would tighten it at 6:52.

The teams recorded a goal each in the second game. Captain Salvatore Poggiali would make it 3-1 on assists from McMillen and Dillon Phillips. Phillips secured his second assist of the young season on the play. Dayvan Bull dented the score sheet at 17:41 to make it close.

Carson fired in his second goal of the season at 15:21, and Ryan Kayser scored shorthand, into an empty net, and with goalie Kyler Lowden picking up an assist to polish off the scoring.

Red Lake was 1-5 with the extra man, while Wisconsin scored once on the power play in three attempts. After just one minor penalty in the first, the rough stuff picked up in the second and third stanzas. The teams combined for 32 penalty minutes, 13 to Red Lake, 19 to Wisconsin. Attendance was announced at 250.

In Game Two Saturday, McMillen picked up a goal and two assists to increase his points haul to six. Wisconsin would jump out to a 3-0 lead before the Miners would dig in for the next two. Connor Hacker scored the lone first period goal, and Poggiali and McMillen would follow in the second. Aiden Corbett would score in the second for Red Lake, and Jacob Lamoureux scored midway in the third to make it 3-2. Poggiali would register his third goal of the season at 18:43 to nail it down, and losing netminder Jaxson Taupert never left the net for an extra attacker.

Phillips has five assists in two games for Wisconsin.

Lowden secured his second win of the year. Attendance was posted at 300.

Thunder Bay 8 at Fort Frances 1 Saturday

The North Stars opened their season with a win in a rare Saturday Night one game only Special at Memorial Sports Arena.

Magnus Pearson scored twice in the opening frame and Easton Glousher added another to give Thunder Bay a 3-1 lead through 20. Brandon Kelly briefly tied the game at 1-1 at 10:57. Thunder Bay had 20 shots in the first.

The North Stars jammed home four markers in the second to blow it open. Edison Weeks and Matt Halushak scored on the power play. Dimitri Trahiotis and Julian Rutland rounded out the barrage. Fort Frances starting goaltender Brenden Stroble got the hook 11:35 into the second, to be replaced by Ryan Tanner with the score 5-1.

Dylan Winsor finished off the scoring for Thunder Bay at 15:31 of the third.

Conner Lemieux secured the win in net for the Stars.

The first and second periods were feisty affairs. Both teams recorded 15 minutes in the bin. Thunder Bay was 2-3 with a man up, while Fort Frances was 0-3.

Pearson stalled at two goals. Weeks had a goal and two assists. Noah Broughton had three assists. Carter Anton had two assists, while Halushak added an assist for a two point night.

Attendance was 377.