SIJHL Week 24 Preview

By Gary Moskalyk

Fort Frances 10-30-6 26 pts .283 7th GF 133 GA 212 -79 PIMs 942 PP% 16.7 PK% 77.3 at Red Lake 28-16-2 58 pts .630 5th GF 202 GA 127 +75 PIMs 890 PP% 22.3 PK% 85.7 Tuesday

Head to head: FFL 0-6-0 RLM 6-0-0

Fort Frances will finish in 7th place and will likely play Sioux Lookout in the best-of-seven quarterfinals.

The Lakers are 2-6-2 in their last 10 but did defeat Sioux Lookout 3-1 on Friday for an uplifting win. Thunder Bay beat them twice the week before that, but the North Stars were hard pressed to win 5-4 in both contests. 

Clark Scaddan leads the team in production with 41 points and 18 goals. Brady Krentz reached the 40-point barrier with 17 goals and 23 helpers. Brody Lindal, acquired in a trade with Red Lake, has a 17G/17A split. Jack Wood is 35th in league scoring with 33 points.

Magnus Pearson has 10 goals on the year and 22 points while Caige Starr has 20 points in 42 games.

Jack Orchard leads the three-man goalie contingent with 1,490 minutes, a 4-18-3 record, and a 4.39 GAA and .898 SV%. Lukas Toth picked up the recent Sioux Lookout win to improve his record to 4-9-2, with a 4.54/.885 slash line in 912 minutes. Gunner Paradis is 2-3-1 with a 4.65 GAA and .893 SV%.

The Lakers have a 16.7% powerplay and 77.3% penalty kill.

Fort Frances has drawn 942 penalty minutes, an average of 20.5 minutes per game.

Red Lake has this game and two against first place Kam River in Kam River to make a push to usurp Dryden for fourth place. Red Lake is four points behind the Ice Dogs. Regardless, their playoff match-up will be against Dryden in the first round. 

Aiden Corbett is 7th in league scoring with 58 points on 30 goals and 28 assists. Corbett is one of four players to hit 30 goals. Luke DeCorby has 15 goals and 32 helpers for 47 points. Rookie Noah Tenney has 39 points, while defenceman Gabe Tanton has 33. Tanton is 5th among rearguards in points. He has just eight penalty minutes on the year.

Nathan Dann is still on the mend and is still in the top 50 with 28 points in 22 games. Ryker Watt’s recent hat trick has him at 16 goals and 28 points.

Red Lake is solid in net. Ethan Neitsch’s 2.37 GAA and .931 SV% has never really jived with his won/lost record, presently 10-10-2. He has 1,341 minutes. Rookie Noah Davis is 12-4-0 with a 2.59 GAA and .910 SV%. Jackson Pundyk is 2-1-0 in 200 minutes.

On special teams, Red Lake gets plus marks for their powerplay at 22.3% and league-leading 85.7% penalty kill. The Miners have also scored 11 times while shorthanded, tops in the league. 

The Miners average 19.3 penalty minutes per game.

Wisconsin 14-25-6 34 pts .378 6th GF 156 GA 227 -71 PIMs 849 PP% 17.9 PK% 77.4 at Kenora 2-42-1 5 pts .056 8th GF 85 GA 327 -242 PIMs 1,210 PP% 9.1 PK% 67.3 Tuesday, at Wisconsin Wednesday. Both Games Canceled and Recorded as Forfeits for Kenora

Head to head: WIS 4-0-1 KEN 1-4-0

The Lumberjacks are on a six-game winless streak. They’ll be looking to reverse that trend in home-and-home games against Kenora. They have a four-game week. Wisconsin finishes off the regular season with a pair against Fort Frances at home.

Dillon Phillips is 4th in league scoring with 63 points, 10 points back of the leader. His 39 assists rank 3rd in the league. Rookie Nolan Fowler has 42 points and 22 goals, good for 19th in league scoring. Defenceman Ryan Kayser has 35 points, 12 goals and 118 penalty minutes. Kayser is 4th among d-men in production. Kaden Postal cracks the top-40 with 30 points in 42 games.

Rookie Collin Baker has 17 goals and 10 helpers. Simon Davidson, rookie Connor Corcoran and Koen Burkholder have 21, 21 and 20 points respectively.

William Forrester, 5-12-2, and Riley Burnett, 3-6-1, share ‘tender duties. Forrester has a 5.09 GAA and .888 SV% in 1,144 minutes. Rookie Burnett, acquired mid-season, has a 5.32 GAA .862 SV% in 575 minutes.

Wisconsin has a 17.9% powerplay and 77.4% penalty kill.

The Lumberjacks average 18.9 penalty minutes per game.

Kenora’s woes continued last week with several big losses against Kam River. They’ll be lining up against the Walleye in the playoffs as well.

Aaron Bertschinger leads the squad in points with 34 in 41 games. Brayden Mackay has 26 points on the season. John Paul Scaringi returned after a month-plus of injury time. Scaringi has 23 points in 32 games. Defenceman Braden Swampy has 11 goals and 19 points with 109 penalty minutes. Reid Zurkan’s 129 penalty minutes continue to lead the league.

In net Matthew Stephens, Connor Dunham-Fox and Kaden King forge on. Stephens has all the team’s points and has an .897 save percentage in 1,140 minutes.

Kenora has a 9.1% powerplay and a 67.3% penalty kill. 

The Islanders lead the league in penalty minutes with 1,210, averaging 26.9 minutes per game.

Dryden 30-15-2 62 pts .660 4th GF 181 GA 141 +40 PIMs 1,008 PP% 24.1 PK% 81.5 at Thunder Bay 31-11-5 67 pts .713 3rd GF 215 GA 148 +67 PIMs 754 PP% 20.7 PK% 81.1 Fri/Sat

Head to head: DRY 4-1-0 TBN 1-3-1

Two semi-final opponents from last year square off in a season-ending doubleheader at Fort William Gardens. The two-game set will serve as an excellent tune-up for the upcoming playoffs for both clubs. 

The Ice Dogs have three players in the 40-point club. Max Roby leads the team in goals with 27 and is barking at 50 points (49). Eli Antoine has 42 points, and McLaren Paulsen has 41. Three players have 30 points or more. Carson Devine, 38, Sean Smith, 35, and Ryland Maier, 31. Bryce Benfield will be back in the fold shortly, just in time for to knock off some rust and get ready for the second season. Benfield has 13 goals and 16 helpers in 22 games.

A pair of defencemen round out the 25-point men. Biagi has a 6G/19A split and Tag Bryson has two goals and 23 apples. James Hooton continues to produce. Hooton has 14 points in 12 games.

The Dogs are styling in net. Ewan Soutar leads the contingent with 1,432 minutes, a 2.51 GAA and .919 SV% with a league-leading five shutouts. Christian Lynch, acquired late in the season, is  7-0-0 in 404 minutes, with 1.93 GAA and .932 SV%.

Dryden’s powerplay rolls in with a 24.1% efficiency and an 81.5% penalty kill.

The Ice Dogs average 21.4 minutes in the penalty box per game.

Thunder Bay enjoyed 12 off days coming into this series. Sioux Lookout has two games remaining against Kenora in search of at least one win to secure second place. If Thunder Bay finishes third, they’ll play Wisconsin in the first round. 

Edison Weeks continues to lead the SIJHL in production with 73 points on 27 goals and a league-leading 46 assists. EJ Paddington is one of four players to hit 30 goals. His 30 goals and 38 helpers for 68 points are second place in the scoring race. Both Weeks and Paddington have played in all 47 games.

Rookie Easton Mikus also has 30 goals. He leads all rookies in goals and points, 59. Tyler Jordan has 50 points and 27 goals. Dimitri Trahiotis has 34 points and defenceman Cameron Dial has 30 points. 

Alex Remenda has 26 points and 11 goals in just 18 games. Cohen Tangedal also 26 points. Beau Helmeczi, d-man Sam Skillestad and rearguard Drew Caddo have 25, 21 and 20 points respectively.

Ben Laurette has played full minutes in four of Thunder Bay’s last five games. Laurette still does not have a regulation loss with an 8-0-1 record with a 2.45 GAA and .919 SV%. Keenan Marks is 18-8-2 with a 3.11 GAA and .907 SV% in 1,643 minutes.  

Thunder Bay’s powerplay is 20.7% while the penalty kill is 81.1%. The Stars average 16.0 penalty minutes per game. 

Red Lake at Kam River 37-9-1 75 pts .798 1st GF 259 GA 125 +134 PIMs 939 PP% 28.3 PK% 82.0 Fri/Sat

Head to head: RLM 3-2-0 KRW 2-3-0

Kam River finishes in first place after a wild regular season ride that included many changes atop the standings board. They were the only SIJHL team to finish in the top-20 in CJHL rankings (16th). On a 13-game winning streak, they’re two wins away from finishing above .800 on the year. They are outscoring their opponents over 2:1. The Miners however, are the only team above .500 against them. 

Their recent spate of scoring, 259 team goals and counting, finds seven Fighting Walleye in the top-20, led by Jett Mintenko’s 64 points. Mintenko’s 19 powerplay assists paces the circuit.

Rookie Nickolas Fagnilli has 51 points (23 goals) in 45 games. SIJHL point leaders from ranked 14th through 18th are all Walleye players. Ryan Doucette , 46, Jeremy Dunmore, rookies Carter Poddubny and Kaden Goodwin–all 45, and Riley Borody, 44, round out the grouping. Brydon Bell leads all defencemen in points with 41–the only one above 40. Defenceman Liam Bell has 35 points.

Five more players are in the 41 to 60 range. Daxton Lang, 30, Carter Nailen and Edwin Liang, 29 each, Braeden Duchesne, 27, and Ryan Daponte, 24 (in 27 games) populate the next tier.

Ashton Sadauskas leads the SIJHL is wins with 27 against three losses. His 1,803 minutes also lead the league. Travis VanderZwaag cracked the 1,000-minute barrier and is 10-6-1.

The Walleye lead the league with a 28.3% powerplay and have an 82.0% penalty kill.

They average 20.0 penalty minutes per game.

Fort Frances at Wisconsin Fri/Sat

Head to head: FFL 1-2-2 WIS 4-1-0

Sioux Lookout 33-10-4 70 pts .745 2nd GF 185 GA 109 +76 PIMs 708 PP% 22.7 PK% 84.7 at Kenora Fri/Sat 

Head to head: SLB 5-0-0 KEN 0-5-0

Sioux Lookout will probably finish in second place. They’re three points ahead of Thunder Bay with two games to go for each club. The Bombers play Kenora while Thunder Bay battles Dryden. 

Owen Riffel leads the SI in goals with 32. He’s 5th in the scoring race with 61 points in 39 games. The Burke’s, Connor and Blake, are next in line. Connor has 26 goals and 25 assists for 51, while Blake has 18 goals and 32 helpers for 50. 

Dayvan Bull is third league-wide in defenceman scoring with 37 points with 10 goals. D-man Nolan Fowler has 31 points and 10 goals. Cobe Delaney has 10 goals and 20 assists, rookies Owen Cotter and Kaden Veller check in at 28 points apiece. Jonah Smith has 16 goals and 27 points. 

Goaltending and defence are Sioux Lookout’s strong suit. Jack Osmond and Matthew Spencer-Dahl are 1-2 in goals against average and save percentage among qualified goalies in the league. Rookie Spencer-Dahl has a 2.10 GAA, .941 SV% and a 9-4-2 record in 916 minutes. Osmond has a 2.22 GAA, .939 SV% and 19-6-2 record in 1,618 minutes. Matthew Ofukany upped his record to 5-0-0 in a recent win.

Sioux Lookout has a 22.7% powerplay and 84.7% penalty kill. The Bombers have the fewest penalty minutes in the league at 708 and average 15.1 minutes in the box.