The first week of December action in the SIJHL has concluded and Gary Moskalyk has your recap.
Kam River 5 at Thunder Bay 2
Kam River scored two powerplay goals and Ashton Sadauskas stopped 27 of 29 for his 12th win as the Fighting Walleye defeated Thunder Bay 5-2 before 835 fans at Fort William Gardens. Kam’s win enabled them to stay atop the SIJHL standings board, tied with Sioux Lookout with games in hand. They’ve won nine of the their last 10.
Tyler Jordan got his 13th with a Gretzky-like behind the goal snipe off Sadauskas at 7:36 of the first for a 1-0 North Star lead. Riley Borody’s powerplay marker at 13:07 and Carter Poddubny’s 12th after a steal and feed from Carter Nailen put the Walleye up to stay at 15:41 of the first.
The teams traded second period goals. Rookie Nickolas Fagnilli’s 11th on a glove-side rebound gave Kam a two-goal margin. Keagan Jones scored from close quarters on a behind the net pass from newly acquired Tristen Bear to pull the Stars to within one.
The Walleye tallied twice in the third to take the win. Jeremy Dunmore notched his 14th from the slot just 33 seconds in, and Jett Mintenko’s empty netter from his own face-off circle at 16:54 polished off the scoring.
Thunder Bay pulled goalie Keenan Marks with over three minutes to go. The Walleye ran into penalty trouble late in the frame and the Stars had a 6-on-3 for a good stretch but could not capitalize.
Kam neutralized Thunder Bay’s top line, pelted Marks for 43 shots, and were full value for their 17th win against three losses. The Walleye have an .850 winning percentage. After a brief period in first place, Thunder Bay slipped into a third-place tie with Dryden.
Dunmore and Borody had assists in addition to their goals, and Liam Bell assisted on a pair for the Walleye. Bear got a point in his first game as a new member of Thunder Bay. Ryan Daponte played his first game with Kam River.
Kam River was 2-5 with the man advantage while shutting down Thunder Bay’s four chances.
Kam River took 38 of 52 penalty minutes.
Kam River 2 at Thunder Bay 5 Saturday
Thunder Bay broke a four-game winless streak, snapped Kam River’s three-game winning streak, and won their first in three games against their local rivals with a 5-2 win before 807 fans at the Gardens.
Keenan Marks won his 11th of the year with 34 stops and Easton Mikus scored an empty-netter and picked up on a assist on EJ Paddington’s goal to put the Stars smack dab in the middle of a hot contested battled first place battle. Four teams are in the mix, with Red Lake picking away just a few points back with games in hand.
The Stars started with 14 skaters. Cameron Dial got the ice breaker six minutes in, accepting a perfect feed from Edison Weeks on a three-on-one and buried it past Travis VanderZwaag for a 1-0 Thunder Bay lead. Carter Poddubny registered his 10th powerplay goal at 9:58, going glove side on Marks for his 13th overall. Paddington went crossbar down for a 2-1 Thunder Bay lead through one period.
Rookie Connor Larrett, one of the 14 players who benefitted from the extra ice time, stickhandled through a Walleye defender to notch his second of the year for the only goal of the second frame.
Ryan Doucette scored on a rebound at 8:52 of the third to pull the Walleye to within one. Stalwart goaltending by Marks kept the Walleye at bay. With Kam River pressing VanderZwaag was pulled for an extra attacker with 95 seconds left in regulation. Beau Helmeczi sent a 180-footer into the empty cage 18 seconds later to make it 4-2.
Thirty seconds later Mikus made it 5-2 with a second empty net goal from centre ice to seal the Thunder Bay win.
VanderZwaag made 29 stops and saw his record drop to 5-3-0. Kam was 1-3 on the powerplay and killed off Thunder Bay’s two chances.
The Walleye took three minor penalties while the North Stars had four.
Dryden 6 at Wisconsin 5 (OT) Friday
Carson Devine’s overtime goal capped off a wild one in Spooner, WI. Wisconsin led 2-0, fell behind 5-2, then scored three unanswered in the third to tie it at five-all. Devine deflated all the party balloons with his 7th in extra time for a 6-5 Dryden win.
The Ice Dogs moved into third place tie with Thunder Bay with 31 points.
Kaden Postal opened the scoring for Wisconsin on a 2-on-1 powerplay marker at 3:11 of the first.
Dillon Phillips’ dangled and then beat Dryden’s Ewan Soutar with a glove-side shot to put the Lumberjacks up 2-0.
Dryden outshot Wisconsin 30-7 through two frames but it wasn’t until 11:18 of the second before the ‘Dogs scored. Eli Antoine went stick side on Rylan Freshwater to break the shutout and the Dryden barrage was on. In a space of 8:41 they scored five.
Ryland Maier put one through Freshwater’s pads at 16:06. Sean Smith made it 3-2 just 18 seconds later. Paul McHale scored glove-side and McLaren Paulsen beat Freshwater at 19:59 on a Dryden powerplay for a 5-2 lead.
Wisconsin swapped out Freshwater for Jakob Barcelona to start the third.
The Lumberjacks leaped off the stretcher with a dominant third, outshooting Dryden 17-6 in the frame.
Zach Johnson counted from the high slot 61 seconds in to narrow the score to 5-3. Wisconsin took a penalty at 14:51 but Collin Baker stole the puck at his own blue-line, went the length of ice on a 2-on-1, and fired in a shorthanded marker at 15:38. Simon Davidson scored from the crease area with under two minutes left to tie the game.
Dryden controlled the play in overtime. Devine converted a feed from Max Roby at 1:36 for the Ice Dogs’ win.
Smith added two assists for Dryden for a three-point night. Antoine and Paulsen added assists and Roby had two helpers.
Baker was named first star with a goal and two assists for Wisconsin. Davidson and Phillips had an assist each.
Soutar improved his record to 7-2-0. Barcelona turned aside seven of eight. Barcelona is winless, but has only one loss in his four decisions. Wisconsin was outshot 38-24 overall.
Dryden had four minor penalties to Wisconsin’s five.
A total of 223 fans attended.
Dryden 8 at Wisconsin 2 Saturday
Max Roby had two goals and five points, and McLaren Paulsen connected twice and collected two helpers as the Ice Dogs powered past the Lumberjacks 8-2.
Dryden led 3-1 after 20 minutes, 6-2 after 40, outshooting Wisconsin 46-24 overall.
Paulsen collected his 15th at 1:57 and Ryland Maier struck at 9:36 as Dryden took a 2-0 lead. Kaden Postal got one back for Wisconsin 26 seconds later. Max Roby capitalized on a Wisconsin turnover at 14:50 for a 3-1 Dryden lead. Lumberjack starter Jakob Barcelona got the hook after Roby’s goal. William Forrester came on in relief.
Paulsen got his second of the game for a 4-1 Dryden lead. Collin Baker shaved a goal off the deficit less than a minute later for Wisconsin’s final goal of the game.
McKale Paul and Eli Antoine scored the final two goals of the second, and Carson Devine and Roby, with his 16th, added solos in the third to complete the win.
Liam Vanderkooi upped his record to 2-1-0 in the Dryden cage. Barcelona took the loss for Wisconsin. Forrester stopped 33.
Antoine added two assists in addition to his goal. Maier also had an assist for a two-point night.
Only four minor penalties per team were called. Dryden was 1-2 while up a man, while the Lumberjacks were 0-2.
A crowd of 226 attended.
Dryden 5 at Wisconsin 4 Sunday
Dryden overcame an early three-goal deficit to defeat Wisconsin 5-4 and sweep the Lumberjacks in Spooner, WI. The six points put them in second place, one point behind Sioux Lookout.
McLaren Paulsen and Max Roby were at the centre of the storm offensively, and Ewan Soutar came on in relief of Liam Vanderkooi at the 7:00 minute mark of the first period and stopped 38 of 39 to garner his eighth win against two losses. Soutar lowered his goals against average to 1.99 and elevated his save percentage to .936.
Marshall Thomas, Dillon Phillips and Zach Johnson staked Wisconsin to a 3-0 lead. Thomas went blocker side for his 2nd, Phillips scored his 7th on an end-to-end rush, and Johnson got his 9th on Ryan Kayser’s 13th assist.
Dryden head coach Kurt Walsten pulled Vanderkooi for Soutar just nine Wisconsin shots in. Roby got his first of two goals on a Dryden powerplay at 9:44 to narrow the score to 3-1.
Paulsen scored his 17th on a Dryden powerplay and Roby got his 18th in a two-goal Dryden second period pulling the Ice Dogs even at 3-3 after two periods.
Kaden Postal knocked down an Ice Dog clearing attempt and charged in from the blue-line to beat Soutar at 52 seconds of third for a 4-3 Wisconsin lead. Just 1:40 later Paulsen’s backhander beat Rylan Freshwater to knot the contest at four-all.
Eli Antoine scored the game winner at 10:15–Dryden third powerplay marker–with a shot from the high slot. Tag Bryson assisted.
Wisconsin was able to pull Freshwater for an extra attacker with about a minute left but couldn’t find the equalizer.
Dryden outshot Wisconsin 49 to 48.
The Ice Dogs were 3-6 on the powerplay while the Lumberjacks whiffed on three chances. Wisconsin took six minor penalties to Dryden’s three.
Antoine added an assist. Roby had an assist in addition to his two goals. Bryson had two helpers. Phillips had an assist to go with his goal, and Ryan Kayser had two apples for Wisconsin.
Attendance was 105.
Kenora 3 at Red Lake 10 Friday
Aiden Corbett had his third four point game in a row and Red Lake scored seven unanswered goals in the second and third periods to break open a 3-3 game for a 10-3 win over Kenora. Red Lake’s recent 7-2-1 stretch has them five points back of third place.
Kenora’s Brayden Mackay opened the scoring at 7:41. Matthew MacPherson’s powerplay goal and Luke DeCorby’s shorty gave the Miners a 2-1 lead. Kenora’s Grayson Chell replied with an Islander shorthanded marker at 15:22. Just 28 seconds later Matthew Lysak’s first goal unassisted had the Miners up one. Jeremiah Jacques tied it up with 55 seconds left in the first.
Nathan Dann, Foxx McColl and Noah Tenney all scored on Red Lake powerplays as the Miners took command. Andrew Sikora made it 7-3 midway through the second.
Tenney got his second at 12:30 of the third, and Corbett got the last two Miner goals–numbers 11 and 12 on the season–to close out the scoring.
Red Lake was 4-7 on the powerplay, while the Islanders were 1-6. Kenora took 92 minutes in penalties while Red Lake was in the bin for 56.
Tenney added an assist for a three-point night for Red Lake. MacPherson, McColl and Dann all has assists in addition to their goals. Ezekiel Kirkness had two assists for Kenora.
Kaden King was on the hook for all Miner goals while Noah Davis made 16 saves for his 4th win against a loss for Red Lake.
Kenora 0 at Red Lake 9 Saturday
Aiden Corbett scored two and assisted on three to propel the surging Red lake Miners to a 9-0 win over the Kenora Islanders. Ethan Neitsch evened his record at 5-5-0 with his 22-save shutout, his second of the year. Corbett has 21 points in his last four games.
Red Lake poured in four in the first, one in the second, and four more in the third to close in on the leader pack. The Miners are five points back of 4th place and just eight behind first place Sioux Lookout. They’re 4-0-1 in their last five, and +43 in goal differential.
The Miners scored five on the powerplay in nine chances.
Carter Deschamps had a goal and two assists. Peter Forester, Nathan Dann, Foxx McColl and Bradyn Roswell had goals and assists each. Noah Tenney had two helpers. Blake Hiltermann added a solo tally.
Connor Dunham-Fox absorbed 64 shots in the Kenora net.
The Islanders took nine minor penalties to Red Lake’s four.
Fort Frances 3 at Sioux Lookout 4 Friday
Cobe Delaney had a goal and two assists and Jack Osmond stopped 29 of 32 for his 7th win as Sioux Lookout defeated an improved Fort Frances Lakers crew 4-3 before 375 patrons at the Hangar.
The win enabled the Bombers to stay tied with Kam River for first.
The Lakers and Bombers exchanged goals through two periods. Caige Starr’s point shot appeared to deflect off a Bomber and in to open the scoring at 16:46 of the first. Former Laker Trever Sanderson tied it up 38 seconds later, corralling a loose puck and getting it past Orchard for his 6th of the season.
A Brady Krentz deflection had Fort Frances up 2-1 at 15:37 of the middle period. Owen Riffle sniped his league-leading 19th over the shoulder of Orchard with 55 seconds left in the second to tie it at two-all.
Sioux Lookout’s Tait Howell’s high wrister glove side at 7:18 of the third to gave the Bombers their first lead of the game. Delaney’s 8th at 9:07 upped the Bomber lead to two.
Ian Snooks beat Osmond from the slot at 15:22 to tighten the score to 4-3. Laker coach Tyler Miller pulled Orchard with 44 seconds to go but the Bombers held steady.
Both teams had seven powerplay opportunities with no goals scored.
Fort Frances outshot Sioux Lookout 32-29.
Sioux Lookout 3 at Fort Frances 2 (OT) Saturday
Defenceman Dayvan Bull scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime, as the Bombers swept the Lakers 3-2 in the home-and-home series on Saturday. Bull leads all blue-liners in goals with seven, and points with 20, good for 20th in league scoring.
Sioux Lookout’s win teamed Kam River’s loss to Thunder Bay puts the Bombers back in first place. Sioux Lookout is on a seven-game winning streak.
Winning goaltender Matthew Spencer-Dahl and Fort Frances’ Lukas Toth put on a clinic. Spencer-Dahl stopped 38 shots, Toth, 42. Spencer-Dahl, 5-1-0, leads the SIJHL with a 1.70 goals against average and .953 save percentage. Toth improved his numbers across the board with his best outing of the year.
The teams were tied 1-1 through one. There was no scoring in the second. Bull and Brady Krentz got one each in the third to sent it to extra time.
Landon Lowes got the Lakers on the board at 2:50 of the first, firing in a rebound past Spencer-Dahl. Blake Burke connected from the slot at 8:51 to knot the score.
At 11:04 the third Bull’s shot through traffic eluded Toth for a 2-1 Bomber lead. Krentz got his game-tyer on a one-timer at 12:50.
Overtime featured seven shots. Jack Wood was stymied on a Fort Frances breakaway early in overtime. Bull scored unassisted at 4:13 on a wrist shot glove side on a Bomber powerplay to send the visitors home in first place. Both teams had powerplays in overtime.
The Bombers were 1-7 with the man advantage, while Fort Frances was 1-4. A total of 16 minor penalties were called. The Lakers took nine of them.
A Laker crowd of 393 saw Fort Frances pull to within two points of 6th place Wisconsin with the overtime point.