SIJHL Week 15 Review

By Gary Moskalyk

Sioux Lookout 2 at Kam River 0 Friday

After two scoreless periods Blake Burke scored the game winner midway through the third and Jack Osmond saved 40 for his third shutout as the Sioux Lookout Bombers defeated Kam River 2-0 before 594 fans at Norwest Arena. Sioux Lookout’s 13th consecutive win puts them five points ahead of the Fighting Walleye in the battle for first place. Kam River has two games in hand.

Owen Cotter scored into an empty net with three seconds left to seal the victory.

Ashton Sadauskas turned aside 31 of 32, losing just his second game of the year and his first since September.

On the game winner, defenceman Dayvan Bull shot the puck behind the Walleye net. Connor Burke corralled it there, fed his brother Blake, and Blake buried it from the slot for his 14th of the year. Connor Burke collected his 19th helper of the year and Bull registered his 21st assist.

Sadauskas was pulled with 1:33 to go but Osmond and the Bombers held them at bay. Cotter’s empty netter was his 7th goal of the season.

Only three minor penalties were assessed. The league’s top two powerplays were held off the scoresheet with two chances each.

Osmond improved his record to 13-4-1, lowered his goals against to 2.23 and raised his save percentage to .940. Sadauskas improved his numbers to 2.14/.916 despite the loss.

Sioux Lookout 2 at Kam River 3 (SO) Saturday 

Jett Mintenko scored the game winner in a shootout as the Kam River Fighting Walleye defeated Sioux Lookout 3-2 before 604 fans at Norwest. Mintenko deked Bomber goaltender Matthew Spencer-Dahl and slid the puck in along the ice to ignite a raucous celebration.

Ashton Sadauskas picked up win number 17, stopping 24 shots in regulation plus three more in the shootout.

Sioux Lookout led 1-0 after one period and doubled the margin to 2-0 after two.

Blake Burke scored from the high slot just 1:14 into the game with Ty Lone picking up an assist. Sadauskas stymied Jonah Smith’s penalty shot attempt at 8:57 of the first. Smith did score in the second period, going high glove side at 9:07 on a shorthanded effort.

Spencer-Dahl kept the Walleye scoreless until 8:17 of the third. Isiah Kinnavanthong moved in from his defence position to the top of the circle and wristed one home for his second of the year. One minute later Riley Borody scored shorthanded on a 2-on-1 for Kam River to tie the game.

The overtime session saw Kam River outshoot Sioux Lookout 6-2. The Bombers managed to kill off a minor penalty during five-minute session and Jeremy Dunmore of Kam River clanged one off the crossbar at 2:33. In the shootout, Sadauskas shut down Sioux Lookout’s Dayvan Bull, Cedrik Robidoux and Blake Burke, while Spencer-Dahl blanked Kam’s two Carters, Nailen and Poddubny. With the game on his stick Mintenko dangled Spencer-Dahl to the left and sent a three-mph shot slowly across the line for a highlight reel ending to a great two games.

Kam River’s win leaves them four points back of the Bombers with two games in hand. The Bombers saw their 13-game winning streak snapped, but still retain a 14-game points streak.

Spencer-Dahl saw his record drop to 7-1-2. His 65 minutes played gives him enough net time to retain the league lead in goals against average–1.75–and save percentage–.950. He stopped 40 of 42.

The teams combined for 34 penalty minutes. Neither team scored on the powerplay. Dunmore was the only player for either side to register two points. His two assists give him 17 on the season.


Thunder Bay 6 at Wisconsin 3 Friday

Connor Larrett, Edison Weeks and Tyler Jordan had a goal and assist each, Thunder Bay outscored Wisconsin 2-1 in each period, and the Stars climbed to within a point of Red Lake for third place as they defeated Wisconsin 6-3 before 198 fans at Rice Lake Arena.

Keenan Marks turned aside 23 of 26 for his 14th win. Riley Burnett fell to 1-2 in his third start, facing 41 shots.

Wisconsin took an early lead at 5:17 of the first. Maddox Achtor got his 5th on a two-on-one opportunity. Weeks buried an Easton Mikus pass for his 16th at 10:55 on a Thunder Bay powerplay. Defenceman Sam Skillestad scored with nine seconds left in the frame for his 2nd of the year.

Zach Johnson tied it from the slot at 11:39 of the second. Chris Larrett deposited a loose puck past Burnett for his 4th at 13:11, and Mikus got his 21st firing in a juicy rebound on a Weeks’ shot. Weeks recorded his 30th helper on the play. The Stars took a 4-2 lead into the third.

Dillon Phillips would draw the Lumberjacks close with his 14th–a snipe over Marks’ shoulder at 1:37 of the third. Owen Doherty’s pass to Beau Helmeczi resulted in a Stars’ 5-3 lead at 8:15.

Wisconsin had an apparent goal waved off shortly thereafter. Jordan’s 17th–a backhander at 18:39–was curtains for the Lumberjacks.

Only nine minor penalties were called. Thunder Bay was 1-3 with the man advantage. Wisconsin misfired on their only chance.

Alex Remenda continued his hot hand, collecting two assists, for six points total in three games.

Wisconsin enjoys the rest of the weekend off. They’ll play Kenora in Kenora on Monday. The Stars take the 422 km hike to Fort Frances to play the Lakers Saturday.

Red Lake 7 at Fort Frances 3 Friday  

Jackson Pundyk made 34 saves for his first SIJHL win, and his teammates poured in three powerplay goals in the final 10 minutes as the Red Lake Miners defeated Fort Frances 7-3. The game attracted 306 fans.

Seven Miners had two points or more, led by Ethan Cerone’s goal and two assists and Landon van Engelen’s three helpers. Nathan Dann and Preston Tauter had two goals each, Noah Tenney had a goal and assist, and Luke DeCorby and Kyle Grysluk had a pair of assists each to buoy the Miners attack.

Red Lake is now +65 in goal differential and more importantly are just a point back of Kam River for second place in the standings.

The Lakers were in the game through the first 50 minutes.

Evan Kabel scored unassisted at 4:26 of the first, sniping from the high slot after a defensive zone steal to give Fort Frances a 1-0 lead. Tauter got his first of the game just 28 ticks later, powering a one-timer past Jack Orchard in the Lakers’ net to tie it up.

Nathan Dann’s high backhander had the Miners up 2-1 through 20 minutes.

Dann and Teagan Wrolstad exchanged second period goals. Dann ripped one over the Orchard’s shoulder for his 18th, and Wrolstad’s snap shot at 14:58 on a Laker powerplay tightened the score to 3-2 for the Miners.

Pierce Gouin knotted the score at 3-all going back door on Pundyk for his 7th of the campaign at 1:53. Ryker Watt, recently acquired from Fort Frances, scored the game winner at 4:54 of the third on a backhander. 

Tenney, Cerone and Tauter counted powerplay goals in the second half of the third period to put the game away.

Orchard shouldered the loss in the Laker net, dropping to 3-13-1.

Thunder Bay 6 at Fort Frances 3 Saturday

Tyler Jordan had two goals and an assist, Edison Weeks notched a pair, Keagan Jones had three assists and Ben Laurette made 26 saves to win his first SIJHL game as the Stars won their 5th in a row and climbed into 3rd place with a 6-3 win over Fort Frances.

Thunder Bay jumped out to a 4-0 first period lead.

Dimitri Trahiotis went top shelf on Lakers’ netminder Lukas Toth on a Stars 2-on-1 to open the scoring at 6:00. Jordan not only won the draw but scored on it as well, notching is 18th unassisted at 13:29. Weeks backhander on a breakaway put Thunder Bay up 3-0 and Jordan’s snipe at 17:23 accounted for the barrage.

Fort Frances pushed back in the second frame. Former North Star Magnus Pearson beat Laurette blocker side for his second of the campaign and first as a Laker at 3:13 on the powerplay. Remington Richardson got his first goal of the year from the slot off the draw to make it 4-2. Owen Doherty stole the puck in the Laker zone, Eric Sheriff accepted his pass and dished to Easton Glousher who tucked it under the bar for his second of the year and a 5-2 Thunder Bay lead. 

Brandon Gustafson went high glove on a North Stars’ turnover at 17:29 of the second to make it 5-3 for Thunder Bay. 

Weeks was the only scorer in the third, rocketing a shot over Toth’s shoulder at 11:49 for his 18th. Weeks has six goals and four assists in his last four games and leads the SIJHL scoring race with 48 points. 

Jordan has 12 points in his last five games and sits 11th in league scoring.

Pearson had a goal and assist for the Lakers and Teagan Wrolstad added two helpers for Fort. The Lakers are winless in their last 11.

Only three minor penalties were called. The Lakers were 1-2 in their two kicks while Thunder Bay was o-fer in their lone chance. Attendance was 325. 

Dryden 7 at Kenora 1 Friday

Bryce Benfield scored two and assisted on three and Christian Lynch picked up the win in his Ice Dogs debut as Dryden broke open a 1-1 tie with six unanswered goals to defeat Kenora 7-1 at Woodland Arena in Vermillion Bay, ON.

At 13:41 of the second period all 10 players on the ice were assessed fighting majors–Lynch and Kaden King stayed in their respective creases–and all 10 were handed game misconducts for their efforts. The league issued several suspensions post-game.

Cooler heads prevailed in the third period with only three minors whistled down.

Jackson Payeur scored on a Dryden powerplay at 11:23 of the first with an assist going to Ryland Maier. Jayden McPherson-Nepinak tied it up at 3:07 of the second. Stanislav Boiarchuk put Dryden ahead to stay 1:28 later and McLaren Paulsen scored his 20th at 11:46 of the middle frame on a Dryden powerplay.

After the smoke cleared on the brawling, Benfield put Dryden up 4-1 with an assist from McKale Paul at 17:00 of the second.

In the third, Dryden fired in three more.

Benfield got his second of the game at 6:15 unassisted and shorthanded, Boiarchuk got his second at 10:25, and William Burns picked up his first tally of the year at 15:54 to round out the scoring. 

A total of 88 penalty minutes were called. 

Lynch stopped 22 of 23 to pick up the win for Dryden. King faced 44 shots in the Kenora net, stopping 37.

Dryden was 2-6 with the man advantage while killing off all three Kenora chances. The teams head to the Moncrief Construction Sports Centre in Kenora for game two Saturday. 

Dryden 8 at Kenora 4 Saturday 

Ryland Maier scored three goals and assisted on one, Max Roby had a pair and a helper, and Ewan Soutar won his 10th as Dryden extended their winning streak to three with an 8-4 decision over the Kenora Islanders in Kenora. The Islanders are winless in their last 27.

The Islanders held a 3-2 edge going into period two before the Ice Dogs erupted for five unanswered goals to forge a 7-3 lead heading into the final stanza.

Stanislav Boiarchuk opened the scoring for Dryden at 7:01 of the first capitalizing on a loose puck for his 4th of the year. Max Roby successfully converted on a 2-on-0 with McLaren Paulsen–shorthanded no less–to up the Ice Dog lead to 2-0. 

The Islanders responded with the next three. Braden Swampy got the Islanders on the board at 13:24. Will Osika’s first goal of the year from the point snuck past Soutar to tie it, and Swampy clicked in a 5-on-3 powerplay to put Kenora up 3-2 through 20 minutes.

Carson Devine, Maier back-to-back, Roby and Adam Zimmerman with his first of the year with 15 seconds left in the period, all beat Matt Stephens for the 7-3 lead.

Devine’s goal was a backhander. Maier’s first was a breakaway backhander. Maier’s second was on a rebound. Roby’s 20th, a powerplay marker, was a prototypical Roby snipe high glove, and Zimmerman went blocker side high to cap off the barrage.

Connor Dunham-Fox came on in relief of Stephens to start the third

John Paul Scaringi cashed in a rebound at 1:37 of the third to make it 7-4, but Maier clicked on a rebound at 14:06 for his hat trick and 10th of the year to make it 8-4.

Both teams iced less than a full complement of players with suspensions being meted out from Friday’s fractious affair. 

Soutar climbed to 10-6-1 with the win. Dryden had three special teams goals–two on the powerplay–while Kenora clicked once with the man advantage. A total of 42 penalty minutes were assessed, 23 to Kenora.