By Gary Moskalyk
Sioux Lookout 3 at Red Lake 2 (OT) Tuesday
Owen Riffel scored with 4:27 left in regulation to tie the game, and struck again with 3:13 gone in overtime to win it as the Sioux Lookout Bombers climbed into a first-place tie with Thunder Bay with s 3-2 shootout victory over the Red Lake Miners. Jack Osmond turned aside 40 of 42 for his 7th win.
The Onanole Rifle leads the SIJHL with 18 goals.
Luke DeCorby’s two goals for Red Lake had the Miners ahead 1-0 after one and 2-0 four minutes into the third. DeCorby capitalized on an Osmond giveaway with just 16 seconds left in the first period. The shorthanded effort was unassisted. After a scoreless middle frame DeCorby made is 2-0 at 4:09 of the third, wristing a low glove side shot home for his 8th of the year.
Cedrik Robidoux’ harmless centering pass deflected off a Red Lake defender and past a startled Ethan Neitsch as the Bombers narrowed the lead to one. Riffel’s game-tyer was from the slot.
Neitsch faced 38 shots in the Red Lake net in regulation. The 39th Bomber shot–a backhander from a wide open Riffel in overtime–found the twine behind him. Nolan Palmer collected his 12th assist with a perfect feed to the league’s top sniper.
The Bombers took 22 of 38 penalty minutes assessed. Both teams were 0-4 on the powerplay.
Osmond lowered his goals against to 2.59 and upped his save percentage to .935. Neitsch’s record stands at 3-5-2 with a 2.22 GAA and .934 SV%.
Kam River 7 at Thunder Bay 3 Wednesday
The Kam River Fighting Walleye grabbed a share of first place with a convincing 7-3 win over Thunder Bay before 847 fans at the Gardens. Kam River, Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay are all tied with 30 points.
Jett Mintenko scored three, Jeremy Dunmore fired in two and added in an assist, Carter Nailen assisted on three and Ashton Sadauskas won his 11th game win a 33-save performance to power the win.
Edison Weeks tallied first for Thunder Bay. Mintenko and Dunmore on a Kam River powerplay gave the Walleye a 2-1 lead heading into period two.
The Walleye struck for four unanswered goals in the second period.
Sam Sargent notched his first goal of the season on a cross-ice feed Easton Debray, who collected his first assist of the campaign, at 8:45. Nickolas Fagnilli on a powerplay, Mintenko and Dunmore struck for three in a 3:34 span to up the score to 6-1. Thunder Bay starting goalie Keenan Marks was pulled after Dunmore’s goal after allowing six goals on 19 shots. Ethan Barron came on in relief.
Cohen Tangedahl and Beau Helmeczi scored for the North Stars in the third, with Mintenko getting his hat-trick at 11:19 on a one-timer.
The loss for Thunder Bay ended their 15-game point streak.
Carter Poddubny chipped in with two helpers for Kam River.
Barron stopped seven of eight in relief. Thunder Bay outshot the Walleye 36-27. Kam River was 2-5 on the powerplay, while killing off Thunder Bay’s three manpower advantage situations.
Dryden 4 at Red Lake 5 Friday
Aiden Corbett had a hat trick, tying the game and winning it with his last two goals, as the Red Lake Miners stayed within hailing distance of first place with a 5-4 win over Dryden. More importantly perhaps, is that they closed the gap between themselves and 4th place Dryden. The Miners are three points back with two games in hand.
The Miners held leads of 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2 before falling behind 4-3 35 seconds into the third.
Red Lake hit the scoresheet first at 12:46 of the first. Ethan Cerone’s backhander hit the post but Corbett was there with a backhander of his own to beat Ewan Soutar when it kicked back into the slot. Dryden defenceman Sebastiano Biagi tied the game with a low point shot from the blue-line on a powerplay to knot the score at 1-1 through 20 minutes.
The teams traded four second period goals. Defenceman Foxx McColl went blocker side on a 5-on-3 Miners powerplay at 0:34 for his first of the season. McKale Paul got his first of the year for Dryden to tie the game at 3:42. Carter Deschamps deposited a rebound past Soutar at 6:10 and Max Roby dangled and deked his way deep in the Miners zone for his 14th of the year to tie it at three-all.
Sebastiano Biagi put the Ice Dogs ahead for the first time with early third period powerplay marker, beating Ethan Neitsch under the bar for his 5th of the year.
Corbett got his second of the game to tie at 7:29. The net was off its moorings by the end of the play but Corbett was able to tuck it through Soutar before it took flight.
Two minutes and 15 seconds later Corbett scored the game winner and his third goal with a sharp angle snipe from tight quarters to close out the scoring. Dryden took a pair of late third period penalties to negate any thought of pulling Soutar for an extra attacker.
Neitsch improved to 4-5-2 on the season in the Red Lake net. Soutar dropped to 5-2-0 in the loss. Shots were even at 46 apiece.
Bryce Benfield had three assists for the ‘Dogs. Deschamps added an assist and Jared Burnett chipped in two helpers for the Miners.
Dryden was 2-3 with the man advantage, while Red was 2-7. The Ice Dogs took 19 of 25 penalty minutes assessed.
Sioux Lookout 7 at Kenora 0 Friday
Matthew Spencer-Dahl continued his climb up the goalie leaderboard with a shutout as the visiting Bombers climbed into first place with a 7-0 win over Kenora with a contingent of fans in tow. Blake Burke notched a pair in support of Spencer-Dahl who is the SIJHL’s leader in goals against average at 1.68 and save percentage at .954.
The Bombers scored two in the first, three in the second and two more in the third. Burke’s goal from the point through traffic at 8:00 was the game’s only powerplay goal. Jonah Smith got his 10th of the year on a low blocker side shot just 45 seconds later.
Owen Cotter sniped high shelf, Mitchell Daines tipped a point shot and Burke got his 9th on a rebound in the second frame. Trever Sanderson and Tait Howell complete the scoring at 9:52 and 11:11 of the third.
Kaden King took the loss in the Islander net with new acquisition Connor Dunham-Fox serving as back-up.
Both teams took six minor penalties each.
Cotter added an assist, captain Nolan Palmer had three helpers, and Dayvan Bull and Owen Riffel had two assists each. Bull and Palmer share the league lead in points by a defenceman with 19 each.
Fort Frances 2 at Kam River 6 Saturday
Kam River exploded for four goals in a 26-shot third period to defeat Fort Frances 6-2 at Norwest Arena. Braeden Duchesne notched a hat trick and Travis VanderZwaag stopped 26 of 28 in the win.
The win puts the Walleye in a first place tie with Sioux Lookout with 32 points each, with three games in hand on the Bombers, North Stars and Dryden.
Kam River scored two in the first. Jeremy Dunmore accepted a backhand pass from Ryan Doucette and beat Jack Orchard blocker side at 5:26 for his 13th of the year. Duchesne’s wrist shot doubled the lead on a Fighting Walleye powerplay late in the first.
Landon Lowes’ long pass sent Brady Krentz into the clear as the Lakers narrowed the lead to one. Krentz got his 6th goal on the play.
Fort Frances scored at the 40-second mark of the third to tie the game. VanderZwaag made several stops until a wide open Josh Greene fired in a loose puck on a Lakers’ powerplay to knot the score.
Kam River struck for four unanswered goals in a 7:36 span starting with Duchesne’s second of the game on a Kam River powerplay at 7:45. His wrister glove-side was his 7th. Easton Debray’s point shot made it past Orchard for his first goal of the season. Duchesne sniped from a sharp angle for his hat trick, and Sam Sargent rounded out the barrage with his second of the season at 15:21.
Orchard stopped 45 of 51 in the Laker net in the loss. VanderZwaag’s numbers improved to 5-2-0 in his 7th start.
The Lakers were 1-4 with the man advantage, while the Walleye were 2-7. Fort Frances took 23 of 40 penalty minutes.
A crowd of 506 attended.
Red Lake 9 at Kenora 2 Saturday
Red Lake scored four in the first and four in third with Aiden Corbett leading the way with his second four point night in a row as the Miners defeated the Islanders 9-2 in Vermillion Bay.
Corbett had a goal and three assists, Noah Tenney struck for two, Nathan Dann and Gabe Tanton had a goal and assist, and Matthew McPherson and Ethan Cerone had two helpers each, Fifteen of 17 Miners recorded at least one point.
Noah Davis upped his record to 3-1-0 and lowered his goals against to 3.71. He stopped 28 of 30. Connor Dunham-Fox debuted for Kenora and was on the hook for all nine goals against on 40 shots.
John Paul Scaringi scored for Kenora at 17:22 of the second to make it 4-1 for the Miners. Tanton’s goal with 15 seconds left in the second regained Red Lake’s four goal spread.
Tristen Bear scored for Kenora at 3:06 of the third to make it 5-2 Red Lake.
Brody Lindal, Kai Hughes with his first of the season, Tenney and Luke DeCorby poured it on to round out the scoring.
No special teams goals were scored. Kenora took just one minor penalty while Red Lake was flagged for seven infractions.
Thunder Bay 4 at Dryden 5 Saturday
Ryland Maier somehow squeaked one through the pads of Keenan Marks midway through the third period and Liam Vanderkooi made it stand up as the Dryden Ice Dogs took game one of their weekend series with a 5-4 win over Thunder Bay.
Dryden, plagued with injuries, played the game with 15 skaters.
Maier and McLaren Paulsen had two goals each for Dryden, and Vanderkooi garnered his first SIJHL win before 382 fans.
Dryden skated out to a 4-0 lead only to see Thunder Bay storm back to tie it.
Paulsen and Maier gave Dryden a 2-0 first period lead. A pair of powerplay goals greeted North Stars starting goalie Ethan Barron to start the second. Eli Antoine got his 7th on a backhander, and Paulsen got his 11th from the point unassisted at 6:57. Thunder Bay swapped out Barron for Marks at that point, and started to rally.
Dimitri Trahiotis scored from 12 feet out to get the Stars on the scoreboard, and Cameron Dial with his first goal of the season from his point position, closed the gap to two. Dial’s goal was a powerplay marker.
A wide open EJ Paddington scored at 1:15 of the third, and Keegan Jones put one under the glove of Vanderkooi to tie it at 6:42.
Maier’s harmless looking shot beat Marks at 9:33. Marks stopped 19 in relief and was spectacular in net, as was Vanderkooi.
Neither team scored from there. Thunder Bay unleashed 49 shots while Barron faced 17 and Marks 20 in the Thunder Bay cage. The Stars yanked Marks for an extra man with 1:48 left to no avail. Marks dropped his 4th decision in the loss.
Only 20 penalty minutes were called, five minors per team. Thunder Bay was 1-3 while a man up. Dryden was 2-3.
Thunder Bay 2 at Dryden 3 (OT) Sunday
Eli Antoine went coast-to-coast in three-on-three overtime as the Dryden Ice Dogs swept the Thunder Bay North Stars with a 3-2 Sunday afternoon overtime win in Dryden.
The two wins put Dryden within three points of first place.
Ewan Soutar picked up his 6th win with a 33-save effort. McLaren Paulsen scored two goals–one shorthanded–on the same shift 45 seconds apart in the second period to power to Ice Dog attack.
Thunder Bay’s EJ Paddington scored the lone first period goal, accepting a saucer pass from Edison Weeks on a two-on-one shorthanded effort, to give the Stars a 1-0 lead at 12:26 of the first.
Paulsen’s pair in the middle frame put Dryden ahead through two periods. Ryland Maier fed Paulsen on a Dryden two-on-one as Dryden notched their 6th shorthanded goal of the year at 8:12. Paulsen went blocker side on Keenan Marks at 8:47 with the sides at even strength to give Dryden a 2-1 lead through 40.
Drew Caddo’s wrister high over the shoulder of Soutar from the point at 6:18 of the third tied the game.
Bryce Benfield was whistled for a 10-minute misconduct at 15:56 of the third for Dryden, and Thunder Bay’s Weeks was called for head contact plus a 10-minute misconduct at 17:34. Dryden’s Max Roby served a two minute penalty for roughing at 18:59.
After the dust settled on all the penalties, overtime settled back into three-on-three. Antoine took the puck from behind the Dryden net, skated the length of the ice, skirting a North Stars defender along the way, avoided Marks’ poke check and tucked it home at 1:50 of extra time for the game winner. Antoine’s 8th goal was unassisted. Antoine also had an assist earlier in the game.
Weeks had two assists for Thunder Bay.
Both teams were 0-4 on the powerplay while scoring a goal each while a man down.
After a 15-game point streak Thunder Bay is winless in three. They’re a point out of first. Marks stopped 38 of 41 and saw his record drop to 10-4-1.
Dryden had 15 skaters. A crowd of 227 saw two original SIJHL rivals engage in another exciting battle.