SIJHL Week 2 Review

By Gary Moskalyk

Seven games populated week two in the SIJHL. Two teams, Fort Frances and Thunder Bay, were looking for their first points. Two teams, Sioux Lookout and Dryden, went into the weekend undefeated. Game seven, a Sunday matinee featuring Thunder Bay at Kenora, was postponed due to a power outage. Here’s how it all shook out.

Kam River (1-1) at Fort Frances (0-2) Friday, Sept. 29

Daxton Lang had two goals and an assist, and Carter Poddubny and Jett Mintenko had one goal and two assists each as the Fighting Walleye outshot Fort Frances 40-15 in an 8-3 victory in Fort Frances.

Kam River goes to 2-1 on the season. The Lakers fell to 0-3. 

Ashton Sadauskas picked up win number one while Jack Orchard let in six on 22 shots for his third loss. Lucas Toth saw his first action in relief stopping 16 of 18 in 25:29 of game time.

Isiah Kinnavanthong and Max Wright had a goal and assist each and newly re-acquired Riley Borody chipped in a pair of helpers to aid and abet a potent Walleye attack. Kam River led 3-0 after one and 7-1 after two. Cobe Delaney scored unassisted to begin the third, and Jack Wood added one at 12:53 to make it 7-3. Mintenko scored with 10 seconds left to round out the scoring.

Braeden Duchesne and Kobe Braham added singles for the Walleye. Josh Greene got Fort Frances’ first goal on a powerplay and Wood later assisted for a two-point night.

Ian Snooks took 13 penalty minutes for the Lakers. After just one minor penalty in the first tempers flared in the second and third. Kevin Bragnalo and Tim Vaillant whistled down 58 penalty minutes, with Kam River claiming 37 of them.

The Lakers were 1-3 with the man advantage while the Walleye clicked once in six tries.

The teams play twice next weekend, again in Fort Frances. A boisterous crowd of 654 attended.

Dryden (2-0) at Red Lake (1-1), Red Lake at Dryden Fri/Sat

Game 1

Dryden skated out to a 2-0 lead, but the Miners notched the last four goals including three in the last half of the third period game to defeat the Ice Dogs 4-2 at Cochenour Arena in Red Lake. Both teams are 2-1 through three games.

Sean Smith opened the scoring at 7:54 of the first on an unassisted powerplay effort picking up a rolling puck in the crease area for his first of the season. McLaren Paulsen picked up his own rebound and scored shorthanded at 16:12 to double the Dryden lead. 

Miners’ goalie Trent Boryszczuk shut the door after that. Dryden bombarded the Red Lake net with 25 first period shots, adding 27 more over the next two frames. 

Harlan Jacobsen got Red Lake on the board at 2:56 of the second, the only goal of the game that wasn’t a powerplay goal, shorty or empty netter. Jacobsen beat Dryden’s Ewan Soutar low five-hole to start the comeback. 

Luke DeCorby and Jared Burnett scored powerplay goals at 9:30 and 14:48 to take the lead. Decorby went top shelf and Burnett scored from five feet out after Red Lake controlled the puck after a face-off deep in Kam’s zone for the game winner. Blake Hiltermann scored from deep in his own zone with Soutar on the bench to seal the deal.

A total of 56 penalty minutes were assessed–mostly in the first and third period. Red Lake capitalized on two of six opportunities while Dryden was 1-7. Soutar stopped 34 of 37 in 58:56 of ice time.

No player had more than a point in the contest.

Soutar has a 1-1 record while posting a 1.51 GAA and .948 SV Pct. Boryszczuk raised his record to 2-1 with a 3.00/.926 slash line.

Game 2

Michael O’Sullivan stopped all 28 shots he faced as the Dryden Ice Dogs defeated Red Lake 2-0 at home. O’Sullivan secured the shutout in his first SIJHL start. The Ice Dogs have allowed just five goals in four games. Ewan Soutar also has a Dryden shutout.

Carson Devine won a puck battle in front of the Red Lake net on a Dryden powerplay to score his first of the year at 5:29 of the first frame. Ethan Neitsch, making his first start after three straight starts by Trent Boryszczuk, was on the receiving end. Adam Zimmerman collected his second assist of the season. Neitsch allowed just the one goal on 30 shots.

The game remained scoreless until the last minute of play. 

Max Roby scored an empty net goal with 39 seconds left, banking a centering pass off a Red Lake defender and in to seal the win. 

Red Lake took 26 minutes in penalties to Dryden’s 14. The Ice Dogs penalty kill nullified six chances. On the powerplay, Dryden was 1-7. 

Sioux Lookout (2-0) at Wisconsin (1-0-1) Fri/Sat

Game 1

Wisconsin held 1-0 and 2-1 leads but the Owen Riffel/Connor Burke/Blake Burke show was in town, figuring in all four Bomber goals. Riffel registered two goals and an assist, Connor Burke buried a pair, and Blake assisted on all four. 

Riffel, the “Onanole Rifle”, now has five goals in three games.

Nolan Fowler scored early to give the Lumberjacks a 1-0 lead. Fowler carried the puck the length of the ice, accepted a centering feed from Jack Carruthers, and buried number one on the year.

Connor Burke scored on a Miners’ powerplay to tie it up at 14:06. Ryan Kayser connected on his third whack at the puck 1:12 later to put Wisconsin up 2-1, but less than two minutes later Riffel connected on the powerplay to tie it up. 

Conner Burke and Riffel connected on a pair of even strength goals in the second stanza to up the score to 4-2 where it stayed for the rest of the game.

The Bombers were 2-4 on the powerplay and killed off three Wisconsin man advantage opportunities. They lead the SIJHL in powerplay proficiency at 31 per cent and the penalty kill is second at 91.

William Forrester stopped 34 of 38 in the Wisconsin net. Jack Osmond turned aside 24 of 26 in his first start.

Nine minor penalties were called. The Lumberjacks took five of them.

Attendance was 306. 

Game 2

Sioux Lookout continued their winning ways with a 4-0 away victory over Wisconsin. Owen Riffel was in the middle of it all, scoring two and picking up an assist. Jack Osmond shunted aside 25 shots for his first shutout of the year.

A couple of Wisconsin turnovers were instrumental in the outcome. Goaltender Rylan Freshwater had trouble behind his net. Riffel picked up the loose puck and deposited his sixth of the year just 1:51 in. 

In the second, the Bombers added two more for a 3-0 lead. Riffel rumbled in on a breakaway from the blue-line in and ripped home his seventh of the year. Jonah Smith notched his third of the campaign on another Lumberjack turnover at 14:09.

Connor Burke’s third of the season at 15:38 of the third on a Bomber powerplay ended the scoring.

Freshwater stopped 41 of 45 shots in a fine showing in his inaugural game. 

Both team were assessed five minor penalties each. Sioux Lookout was 1-5 while Wisconsin was shut down in five tries.

Special teams continue to be a specialty of the Bombers. Carson Johnstone’s crew are 28.6% on the PP and 93.8% on the PK–both league leading.

Thunder Bay (0-2) at Kenora (1-1) Sat/Sun

Game 1

Easton Mikus scored six goals as Thunder Bay broke into the win column in a big way with an 11-4 pasting of Kenora at the Moncrief Construction Sports Centre. Mikus fired in four in the first and one each in the second and third for a historic evening. The league’s youngest player added an assist for good measure.

EJ Paddington had five helpers–four of them primary assists on Mikus’ goals. Eric Sheriff and Connor O’Brien had goals and assists, and Easton Glousher added three apples for Thunder Bay.

Kenora’s captain Aaron Bertschinger had a goal and assist.

Keenan Marks secured the win. Matt Stephens was between the pipes for nine goals in a losing cause. Kaden King came on at 17:05 of the second period and let in two the rest of the way.

The game was tied 2-2 at the 8:50 mark of the first. O’Brien opened the scoring at 4:09, Darian Sinclair tied it up, Mikus got his first at 6:47, and Keelian Lavasseur got his second of the year 2:03 later. Stars’ head coach Rob DeGagne called a time out. Perhaps Mikus listened harder than most. He fired in a natural hat trick in a 5:34 span to end the first and then added his fifth of the game at 5:26 of the second.

Sheriff made it 7-2, Bertschinger made it 7-3, and Dimitri Trahiotis and Drew Caddo put the game out of reach with two late ones for a 9-3 Thunder Bay lead.

Brayden Mackay got one back for Kenora on a powerplay at 5:54 of the third but Mikus and Nolan Desjardins polished it off.

The Stars were 2-7 with the man advantage–Mikus netting both of them. Kenora was 1-4.

Another fine crowd of 439 was in attendance.

Game 2

Postponed due to a power outage and poor ice conditions that ensued.