SIJHL Week 17 Preview

By Gary Moskalyk

All seven teams see action in Week 17. Second through fourth place are being hotly contested. Dryden has 43 points in 32 games, Sioux Lookout 41 points in 33 games, and Red Lake has 40 in 35 games.

Kam River has a six point lead atop the standings with a .766 winning percentage.

Thunder Bay makes up a little ground with four games–two against last place Fort Frances and two against first place rivals Kam River.

Wisconsin is on the rise with an impressive week 16.

Fort Frances has four games–two against Thunder Bay and two against Wisconsin.

Fort Frances 5-26-0 GF 76 GA 193 @ Thunder Bay 14-11-4 GF 97 GA 89, Tue/Wed Jan 24/25 

Fort Frances enters week 17 on a 12-game slide. Head Coach Tyler Miller is still looking for his first SIJHL win. He’ll have four shots at it as the Lakers play a weekend double-header against Wisconsin on Friday and Saturday in addition to the two mid-week games against Thunder Bay.

The Lakers recorded a 1-0 forfeit win against Thunder Bay on September 24th for their only victory against Thunder Bay in three games.

Forwards Blake Ferris and Trever Sanderson are two relatively new additions to the team. Ferris, a 20-year-old, has three points in six games. Sanderson, 19, has three assists in four games.

Ryker Watt and Kevin Bond have 12 goals each. Clark Scaddan has nine. Watt, Bond and Scaddan have 22, 20 and 19 points respectively. Ian Snooks has 15 points in 31 contests.

In net, Brendan Stroble and Ryan Tanner are on the hook for 50 saves a game and their stats reflect it. As a team the Lakers surrender 6.23 goals per game. They’ve allowed 46 powerplay goals, with a penalty kill at 65.9%. 

The Lakers powerplay is at 16.7%, just below the league average of 17.7%. The Lakers average 18.1 penalty minutes per game.

Thunder Bay is on a two-game losing streak and are 4-5-1 in their past 10. Their powerplay has suffered of late, standing at 16.0 %. Their penalty kill is 85.7%, just behind Dryden for top spot.

Thunder Bay’s 29 games played is two fewer than any other team. They’ll catch up a little with a four-game week. The first two games against last place Fort Frances will be in stark contrast to the two they’ll play against first place Kam River at Norwest on Friday and Saturday.

Edison Weeks is averaging 1.04 points per game, one of about 20 SIJHL players above the point-a-game plateau. Dylan Winsor has 22 points (8-14) in 23 games, while Noah Broughton has 20 points (7-13). Dimitri Trahiotis, EJ Paddington, Carter Anton, Matt Halushak and Colby Feist are next in scoring.

Stopping the puck is where the North Stars excel. 

Keenan Marks leads the league with a 2.21 goals against and .931 save percentage. Conner Lemieux has appeared in 16 games to Marks’ 11 and brings 2.84/.926 numbers to the goal crease.

Nikolas Campbell is getting top line minutes and has a goal and assist in his three games. Sam Skillestad has a game under his belt.

The Stars are almost exactly league average in penalty minutes with 21.1. 

Sioux Lookout 20-12-1 GF 137 GA 98 @ Dryden 21-10-1 GF 135 GA 94, Wed Jan 25 

Two evenly matched tangle in Dryden in a midweek battle. Sioux Lookout is +39 on the season, and Dryden is +41. The Bombers are 3-4-0 head-to-head against the Ice Dogs.  

Ty Bahm is 4th in league scoring with 11 goals and 35 points in 29 games. The Bombers are loaded in the scoring department. Blake Burke (15-17-32), Owen Riffel (17-14-31), Connor Burke (10-16-26), Lucas Trimarchi (10-15-25), Tegan Neuman (8-14-22), Nolan Palmer (8-14-22) and Graeme Patrick (7-13-20) round out a potent offence. Overall, the Bombers 137 goals are second to Kam River’s 138. 

Jake Manners is currently on at least a 64-saves-in-a row binge that places him among the leaders in wins (16), GAA (2.42) and SV% (.930). He does lead the league with 1,490 minutes. Ethan Penner is in reserve.

Sioux Lookout’s powerplay is 17.5%. The penalty kill is 84.7%.

Defenceman Calum McGill has been added to the roster. McGill, a native of Ayr, Scotland, has played five games with the Bombers. He had 12 games with the Fighting Walleye last year with a goal and assist.

Dryden is 4-2-1 against the Bombers this year. 

Bryce Benfield has 33 points on 14 goals and 19 helpers, good for 8th in league scoring. Landen Stromme and James Hooton have 18 goals each to lead the team in snipes. Ryland Maier (10-15-25), Max Roby (14-10-24 in 20 games), Brady Frattinger (10-13-23), Jordan Pfoh (11-11-22) and Ben Hackl (8-11-19 in 20 games) round out the Ice Dogs in the top-40. Defenceman Easton Debray has 18 points.

Eric Clark has 13 wins in net, with a 2.93 GAA and .911 SV%. Zac MacDonald fills in capably with a 2.66/.897 slash line. 

The SI’s most physical team is 25 minutes shy of 1,000 penalty minutes. Sioux Lookout is next in line with 750.

Dryden’s powerplay is 23.7% is league best by a considerable margin. The Ice Dogs also have the best penalty kill at 85.9% and have scored nine shorthanded.

Garrett Hrechka has five assists in his five games played.

The Ice Dogs host Red Lake for a pair on Friday and Saturday. 

Thunder Bay @ Kam River 24-7-1 GF 138 GA 94, Fri/Sat Jan 27/28 

The North Stars are winless against the Walleye, with an OT loss and shootout loss, and two regulation losses.

Kam River is 4-0-0 against Thunder Bay, outscoring Thunder Bay 16-8.

Arguably the SIJHL’s hottest rivalry, Norwest Arena should be packed to seams for this weekend series.

Ethan Lang leads the Walleye in points with 34 and assists with 25. Jeremy Dunmore’s 13 goals are tops, to go along with 19 assists. Jack Cook is second in SIJHL defenceman scoring with 31 points (12-19). Ryan Doucette (9-16-25), Anthony Oviedo (11-11-22), Max Leduc (8-14-22) and Euan Morrison (6-15-21) round out a list of seven players in the top-32.

Eric Vanska leads all SIJHL goalies with 17 wins. Jack Orchard is third in GAA with a 2.55 mark.

The Walleye lead the league in goals, 138, goals per game, 4.31, and are tied with Dryden with 2.94 goals allowed per game. The powerplay is at 17.8% and 83.3% in the penalty kill department.

Kam River has a six-point lead on second place Dryden.

Noah Kramps has five goals in five games and Kobe Braham has two goals and three assists in five games.

A Sunday home game against Red Lake ends a busy three days. 

Red Lake 18-13-4 GF 127 GA 122 @ Dryden, Fri/Sat Jan 27/28   

Red Lake’s Aiden Corbett is third in league scoring with 14 goals and 24 assists. Jacob Lamoureux leads the league in goals with 23. Defenceman Dayvan Bull has played every game and has 24 points. Matthew Macpherson has 20 points in 24 games.

Overall, the Miners average 3.63 goals per game and allow 3.49. Their 15.2% PP is last in the league. Their PK is at 85.6%. They’ve allowed 21 goals shorthanded while scoring seven themselves.

Jack Osmond is the man in net, with 14 wins, a 2.90 GAA and .929 SV%. Newcomer Trent Boryszczuk has two wins in three starts.

The Miners are second-least penalized team in the league–just under 18 minutes per game.

The Miners are 2-2-0 against Dryden. All games have been settled in regulation.           

Wisconsin 11-18-5 GF 129 GA 149 @ Fort Frances, Fri/Sat Jan 27/28

Wisconsin picked up two wins against their Thunder Bay opponents last week. Even their 6-3 loss to Kam River on Friday had them up 3-0. The 5-3 win Saturday against Kam River may galvanize the team for a much improved second half.

Ryder McMillen has 20 goals and 54 points to lead the SI in production. Defenceman Zach Carson has scored nine of his 19 goals on the powerplay. 

Captain Salvatore Poggiali is 16-15-31 in 32 games. Dillon Phillips (10-20-30), Connor McClure (7-12-19), Brandon McDonald (6-13-19), Zach Johnson (12-6-18) and Dylan Jouppi (1-17-18) provide scoring depth.

Kyler Lowden is 8-9-3 in net and has lowered his GAA south of 4.00 goals per game.

William Forrester recently picked up his first win.

Wisconsin is 3-0-0 against Fort Frances with 22 goals for.

The Lumberjacks are the least penalized team in the league at 16 minutes per game. Their powerplay is 16.8%, PK is 81.9–just below league average in both categories.

Forwards Simon Davidson and Cooper McClure have three games under their belts. Davidson has two goals and an assist and McClure a goal and helper.

Red Lake @ Kam River, Sun Jan 29

 Red Lake is 2-2-1 against Kam River. The Walleye have a 3-1-1 record against Red Lake.