By Gary Moskalyk
Fort Frances 2 @ Thunder Bay 8, Tue Jan 24: Fort Frances 1 @ Thunder Bay 4, Wed Jan 25
Jamie Fuchs scored a hat trick in a triumphant return as the Thunder Bay North Stars defeated the Fort Frances Lakers 8-2 before 225 fans at the Fort William Gardens. Fuchs played his first game since December 8th.
He had plenty of support. Colby Feist had a goal and three assists, Liam Murdoch a goal and two assists, Edison Weeks three helpers, and Garren Voisey and Nikolas Campbell chipped in with two apples each. Matt Halushak’s 8th on a powerplay, Noah Broughton and EJ Paddington added solos.
Ryker Watt and Kevin Bond replied for Fort.
Keenan Marks win his 7th of the year, turning aside 21 of 23, while Brenden Stroble faced 49 shots in the Laker cage.
The win broke a two-game losing streak for the Stars, who went above 100 goals for the season with the outburst. The Lakers suffered their 13th loss in a row.
Thunder Bay fired 20 shots in the first and put two on the board. The Stars were up 6-2 after 40, and Fuchs netted his hat trick marker at 13:07 of the third. Liam Murdoch’s boomer from the blue line 37 seconds later ended the scoring.
Clark Scaddan and RJ Dickie had a spirited scrap with two minutes left. The Lakers were 0-6 with the man advantage. The Stars were 1-3.
In Wednesday’s game Ryan Tanner frustrated the North Stars for nearly two periods stopping 40 shots in a row, before Thunder Bay cracked the code and skated off with a 4-1 win before 210 patrons. Connor O’Brien opened the scoring with a powerplay goal at 6:59 of the first on assists from Ryker Watt and Brady Krentz to give the Lakers a 1-0 lead.
Tanner was all-world, stoning Nolan Desjardins on a breakaway with 2:40 left in the second as an example, before Nikolas Campbell notched his second goal of the year seconds later from the edge of the crease at 17:54 to tie the game.
Thunder Bay struck for three in the third frame.
Dylan Winsor deflected Matt Halushak’s point shot for the game winner at 5:51. Magnus Pearson added some insurance at 12:38 and Edison Weeks forged his way through and scored from close in on a Thunder Bay powerplay to round out the scoring. Sam Skillestad picked up his second point as a North Star on the play with the primary assist.
Conner Lemieux had a fine game in net for the Stars, stopping 29 of 30 for his 9th win. Tanner turned aside 57 of 61 for Fort.
Jamie Fuchs had two assists for Thunder Bay.
The Lakers were 1-1 with the man advantage. Thunder Bay was 1-3.
Only six minor penalties were called, four to the Lakers. Attendance was 210.
Sioux Lookout 2 @ Dryden 3, Wed Jan 25
Landen Stromme scored the game winner shorthanded in the latter stages of the second period as the Dryden Ice Dogs defeated the Sioux Lookout Bombers 3-2 at Dryden Memorial Arena. The victory gave Eric Clark his 14th win. He stopped 36 of 38.
Jake Manners dropped to 16-9-1, turning aside 37 of 40.
The third period was scoreless. Carson Johnstone pulled Manners with 2:28 left. The Ice Dogs allowed one shot and had a few chances of their own before the horn sounded.
The win enabled Dryden to open up a four-point lead on the Bombers with a game in hand.
Dryden’s McLaren Paulsen bulled his way scoring blocker side for his first goal of the season at 14:39 of the first.
The Bombers and Ice Dogs traded goals in a four goal second. Fresh out the penalty box, Peter Zilkalns fed Braeden Clark for his second of the year to tie the game at 1-all. Brady Frattinger cut in from the left side and sniped blocker side for his 11th for a 2-1 Dryden lead. Nathan Dann’s 8th knotted the score.
Stromme stormed in on a breakaway from his own blue-line beating Manners high glove side on an Ice Dog penalty kill for his 19th of the campaign.
The Bombers were 0-6 with the man advantage. Dryden was 0-2. Both teams drew 20 penalty minutes.
Jack Cullen had two assists for Dryden.
Dryden hosts the Red Lake Miners for a pair, while the Bombers enjoy the rest of the week off.
Thunder Bay 0 @ Kam River 1, Fri Jan 27: Thunder Bay 4 @ Kam River 5, Sat Jan 28
The SIJHL’s version of the Winter Classic took place at Norwest Friday night. Max Leduc scored midway through the third period as the Fighting Walleye defeated the North Stars 1-0 before 806 fans. The Walleye are 5-0 against the Stars this year.
Eric Vanska stopped 46 shots for his third shutout and 18th win. Conner Lemieux handled 44 of 45 in the Thunder Bay net.
Leduc picked up Jeremy Dunmore’s pass at centre ice, gained the zone, and beat Lemieux with a wrister from the high slot for his 9th of the year.
Thunder Bay pulled Lemieux for the last 1:38 and some good looks. Edison Weeks and Jamie Fuchs were stymied from close range.
Thunder Bay was 0-4 on the powerplay. Kam River was 0-1.
The throng at Norwest were treated to a tight defensive game with plenty of premium scoring chances and great goaltending.
Dylan Winsor and Kobe Braham had a third period tussle. Only five minors were called. Thunder Bay was 0-4 with the man advantage, while Kam River misfired in their one opportunity.
In Saturday’s contest Kam River forged a 5-1 lead through 50 minutes and saw the Stars rally late to make it close. In the end, Eric Vanska shut the door in a frantic final Thunder Bay push to give the hometown Walleye a 5-4 decision before a capacity crowd of 806.
Noah Kramps corralled a loose puck deep in the Stars zone and beat Conner Lemieux to open the scoring at 2:30 of the first. Edison Weeks picked off a pass in the Walleye zone a fed EJ Paddington who buried the biscuit at 10:50 to tie it up.
Kam River scored three in the second to take command.
Nickolas Fagnilli, an affiliated player, netted his first of the season, picking off an errant North Stars’ pass at 2:44. Defenceman Jack Cook’s shot from the blue line bulged the twine at 16:02 on a Walleye powerplay, and Anthony Oviedo’s tip at 19:38 gave the Walleye a well-deserved 4-1 lead.
Defenceman Kyle Lamoureux scored his first of the season at 46 seconds of the third for a 5-1 lead. Vanska misplayed the puck and Thunder Bay’s EJ Paddington made him pay with an unassisted effort midway through the final frame.
The Stars sprung off the stretcher with two minutes left.
Nikolas Campbell went over Vanska’s shoulder for his third at 18:05, and scored a similar goal 50 seconds later. Vanska weathered the final storm for the his 19th win as the Stars had good looks in the dying seconds.
Vanska stopped 34 of 38 and Lemieux saved 39 of 44.
Kam River was 1-6 on the powerplay while Thunder Bay was 0-6.
Paddington added an assist to his two-goal effort for Thunder Bay. Cook had an assist in addition to his 13th goal for Kam River. Jeremy Dunmore and Mackenzie Sedgwick had two apples each to buoy the Walleye attack.
Thunder Bay took 18 of the 34 penalty minutes assessed.
Red Lake 1 @ Dryden 4, Fri Jan 27: Red Lake 2 @ Dryden 4 Sat Jan 28
Dryden peppered Red Lake’s Trent Boryszczuk with 79 shots as the Ice Dogs rumbled to a 4-1 win over visiting Red Lake. The win kept Dryden within four of first place Kam River. Dryden has won eight home games in a row.
Kaden Bandura converted Ryland Maier’s perfect feed to open the scoring late in the first for a 1-0 Dryden lead.
The Pack would score three of four in the second frame, bombarding Boryszczuk for 31 shots in the process.
James Hooton’s screen shot glove side at 3:12 gave the Dogs a 2-0 edge. His marker tied Landen Stromme for the team lead in goals with 19. Red Lake scored their lone goal at 6:09 on the powerplay. Aiden Corbett’s point shot leaked through Eric Clark’s pads and Matthew Macpherson was there to capitalize to tighten the score.
Jordan Pfoh, the game’s first star, went blocker side for his 12th to make it 3-1.
Dryden’s Bryce Benfield won a face-off deep in the Miners’ end with seven seconds left. Defenceman Easton Debray dodged a defender and rifled in his 7th with two ticks left on the clock as Dryden upped the score to 4-1.
There was no scoring in the third.
There was one minor called in the first, and three whistled down in the third. In a fractious second period Red Lake’s Jacob Lamoureux and Dryden’s Brady Frattinger got involved. Both teams were assessed 15 penalty minutes in the contest.
Clark made 31 saves for his 15th win.
Debray added an assist for a two-point night.
Attendance was 341.
Saturday ‘s rematch saw Dryden extend their home winning streak to nine games and their overall winning streak to five with a 4-2 decision over Red Lake. As of Sunday morning, the Ice Dogs were four points back of Kam River.
James Hooton gave Dryden a 2-0 lead with a pair of game-opening goals, and Ryland Maier extended the lead to 3-0 by 10:26 of the first.
Hooton’s 20th was a one-timer at the expiration of a Dryden powerplay. His 21st was a wrister from the top of the right circle. Maier’s 11th was a tip of Jack Cullen’s point shot.
Colton Crysler’s sniped his 19th four seconds into a Red Lake powerplay to tighten the score.
After a scoreless second, Brady Frattinger buried his 12th on a breakaway to extend Dryden’s margin to three.
Quintyn Sidaway beat Dryden’s Eric Clark from distance at 16:08 to round out the scoring. Red Lake took a late penalty to negate any late stab at tying the score.
Clark stopped 27 of 29 for his 16th win. Jack Osmond was the busier of the two goalies, handling 48 of 52 in a losing effort.
Dryden took 30 of 40 penalty minutes assessed. Red Lake was 1-10 on the powerplay while Dryden was 0-5. Attendance was 438.
The Miners week continued to Oliver-Paipoonge for a Sunday matinee against the Fighting Walleye. Both teams are on their third-game-in-three-nights stretch.
Wisconsin 5 @ Fort Frances 6 (SO), Fri Jan 27: Wisconsin 13 @ Fort Frances 3, Sat Jan 28
Fort Frances ended their 14-game losing streak with a 6-5 shootout win over Wisconsin, giving head coach Tyler Miller his first win at the helm.
Ryker Watt scored two and assisted on one to lead the attack. Kevin Bond, the Lakers fourth shooter in the shootout, got the game winner.
Wisconsin jumped out to a 4-1 lead but the Lakers fought back to tie it up.
Simon Davidson put the Lumberjacks on the board at 11:22 of the first, beating Ryan Tanner from a tough angle. Jack Wood replied for Fort Frances with shorthanded effort. ‘Jacks starter Emmett Doherty mishandled a shoot-in and Wood scored from the high slot to tie it up.
Dylan Jouppi went high blocker side late in the first for a 2-1 Wisconsin lead through one period.
In the second frame, Davidson collected his second of the game and Brandon McDonald tacked on a powerplay effort to give the Lumberjacks their 4-1 cushion.
Ian Snooks and Ryker Watt both scored on Laker powerplays to pull Fort to within one by the end of the second.
Head coach Doug Lein pulled Doherty and inserted Kyler Lowden in net to start the third.
Watt’s second goal from the low slot on a pass from Clark Scaddan tied it up at 7:37 of the third. Dillon Phillips notched his 11th on a Laker turnover to regain the Wisconsin lead at 8:55
Affiliated player Bo Gartzke deflected Trever Sanderson’s shoot-in at 14:16 to send it to extra time.
The teams managed a shot each in overtime. Brady Krentz scored in the shootout. Ryder McMillen tied it up. Bond went high blocker side for the game-winner and Tanner stood tall against Dillon Phillips to secure the win.
Tanner stopped 26 for his second win of the year. Lowden took the loss for Wisconsin.
Scaddan had assists on both of Watt’s goals. Davidson had two goals for Wisconsin. Jouppi added an assist and Ryder McMillen had two helpers to give him 56 points on the season.
Wisconsin was 1-2 with a man advantage while Fort was 2-7. Nine minors were called–seven to the Lumberjacks. Attendance was 247.
In Saturday’s game it was one-all 26 minutes in until the Lumberjacks scored 12 goals in the second half of the game to hammer Fort Frances 13-3. Dillon Phillips had a hat trick and assist, SIJHL leading scorer Ryder McMillen had three goals, Cooper McClure had one goal and three helpers, Brandon McDonald had a goal and assist, and Sal Poggiali had two assists. Solo tallies went to Zach Johnson, Connor McClure, Shane Cassin, Zach Carson and Dylan Olsen.
In all, 10 players hit the Wisconsin scoresheet. The ‘Jacks had 20 or more shots in all three periods. Fort Frances’ netminder Ryan Tanner took all 13 goals on the chin, and probably a few on other body parts, as Wisconsin fired in six in the second and six more in the third.
Kyler Lowden evened his record at 9-9-3 with a 31-save effort for Wisconsin.
Josh Greene and Brady Krentz had a goal and assist each, Clark Scaddan had two helpers, and Jack Wood had a goal for the Lakers.
Wood’s goal came at 1:43 of the second period on a penalty shot to tie the game.
Wisconsin was 2-6 on the powerplay. Fort Frances was 1-8. The game took on feisty edge as 12 infractions were called in the third. Fort amassed 38 penalty minutes to Wisconsin’s 20 overall. A crowd of 293 enjoyed the action.
Red Lake 2 @ Kam River 6, Sun Jan 29
Euan Morrison had two goals and an assist, Mackenzie Sedgwick scored a rare 5-on-3 shorthanded goal and Kam River recorded 60 shots to defeat the Red Lake Miners 6-2 at Norwest Arena.
The Miners were coming off a two-game road trip to Dryden and the 330 km bus trip that followed. Kam River was also playing their third game in three nights.
Morrison scored the only goal of the first frame. Daxton Lang forced a turnover, and fed Morrison, who notched his 7th at 10:58.
Sedgwick opened the second period with his shorthanded marker, racing in on Trent Boryszczuk from the Walleye blue line for a 2-0 lead. Luke Decorby went glove side on Jack Osmond to narrow the score. Riley Borody and Morrison scored the next two for a 4-1 Walleye spread. Jacob Lamoureux sniped his 24th to get the Miners to within two.
Kam River scored two powerplay goals in the third to wrap up the game. Jack Cook and Noah Kramps salted away the win before 362 fans at Norwest Arena.
Cook also had an assist in the game and Max Leduc had two helpers for the Walleye.
Red Lake was 0-6 with the man advantage. Kam River was 2-5.
Jack Osmond saved 34 for his 8th win. Boryszczuk saw his record fall to 2-3-0 with a 54-save effort.
Red Lake took 22 of the 36 penalty minutes called.