SIJHL Week 9 Preview

By Gary Moskalyk

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There are 10 games on tap in the SIJHL. All eight teams see action. Red Lake comes to Thunder Bay for a three-game set. Wisconsin travels to Sioux Lookout for three. Kam River faces Dryden for two. Fort Frances heads to Vermillion Bay for a pair against the Islanders.

The league has completed nearly one-third (63 of 196 games–32.1%) of its schedule.

Red Lake 8-5-1 17 pts .607 5th GF 60 GA 37 +23 PIMs 271 PP% 15.4 PK% 84.2 at Thunder Bay 12-4-1 25 pts .735 2nd GF 72 GA 48 +24 PIMs 311 PP% 20.3 PK% 86.1 Fri/Sat/Sun

Two streaks are on the line as the Miners four-gamer and Thunder Bay’s unbeaten in 12 games clash for a three-game set at Fort William Gardens.

The North Stars’ winning ways began October 13 and 14 with one-goal wins in Red Lake. The Miners have three cracks to exact revenge.

Thunder Bay has the three top point-getters in the league. EJ Paddington has 31 points on 11 goals and 20 assists in 17 games obliterating the 23 points he got last year in 47 games with the Stars. Edison Weeks picked up five goals and two assists in two games against Kenora for 28 points, and Easton Mikus has 14 goals and 14 assists for his 28 points. Mikus has been held pointless just three times this year.

Tyler Jordan has 10 goals and five assists in 12 games with four game winners, Dimitri Trahiotis sits 17th in SIJHL scoring with 15 points thanks to a recent tear. Defencemen Connor O’Brien and Drew Caddo have 11 points each, and Cohen Tangedahl has 10 to round out the double-digit men.

In net, Keenan Marks is 8-2-0 with a 2.52 GAA and .925 SV%. Ethan Barron is 4-2-1 with a 2.81/.903 split.

The Stars cracked the 20 per cent barrier with a 20.3 rating on the powerplay, combined with a league-leading 86.1 score on the penalty kill. Their 311 penalty minutes in 17 games averages out to 18.3 minutes per game.

Red Lake has a winning percentage of .607 and a +23 goal differential. They have no players in the top-20 but make up for it with eight players in the 21-60 zone. Noah Tenney has 13 points, with a trio of teammates–Nathan Dann, Luke DeCorby and Aiden Corbett–at 12. Dann has an amazing 10 goals in just six games played, with three hat trick games. Rookie defenceman Bryson Carlyle has 11 points (10 assists), Landon van Engelen and Gabe Tanton have 10, d-man Blake Hiltermann nine (five goals) and Brody Lindal has five goals and three helpers.

Ethan Neitsch has two wins, three losses and an OT loss. Those numbers don’t leap off the page but a 1.99 GAA and .935 SA% make a pretty good attempt at it.

Noah Davis has two wins and a loss in his three games.

On special teams, the Miners are a touch below the league average of 19.6% with a 15.4% success rate on the powerplay, while exceeding the league average of 80.4% with an 84.2% penalty kill. 

The Miners 271 penalty minutes in 14 games averages out to 19.4 minutes per game. The SIJHL league-wide averages 21.3 penalty minutes per team per game.

Wisconsin 5-7-3 13 pts .423 6th GF 48 GA 68 -20 PIMs 309 PP% 14.6 PK% 83.1 at Sioux Lookout 10-5-2 22 pts .647 4th GF 68 GA 48 +20 PIMs 295 PP% 27.6 PK% 82.0 Fri/Sat/Sun

The Lumberjacks have the youngest team in the SIJHL (18.42 years according to Elite Prospects). Sioux Lookout took a pair of games in late September against the ‘Jacks 4-2 and 4-0 in Spooner.

The Lumberjacks can beat anyone on any given night. 

Defenceman Ryan Kayser leads the team in point production with 12. Nolan Fowler and defenceman Connor Corcoran have 11. Zach Johnson and Dillon Phillips have 10 and Koen Burkholder has nine. 

In net, Jakob Barcelona, William Forrester and Rylen Freshwater tend the cage. Barcelona is winless in five games with a loss and two shootout losses. He has the best stats with a 4.14/.909 log. Forrester has the most minutes with 408. He’s 3-4-1/4.27/.897 while Freshwater is 2-2-0/4.84/.896.

Wisconsin has a PP percentage of 14.6 and has been scored on six times with a man advantage. They’re above the norm killing off penalties, sitting at 83.1% with a two shorthanded markers. 

The Lumberjacks average 20.6 penalty minutes per game, about a minute less than average.

Sioux Lookout has played at a little less than a .500 pace (4-5-1) in their last 10. 

Owen Riffel was out for three games with an injury. The Rifleman still has 14 goals in 14 games, tied for the league lead in that department. Linemates Connor Burke has 10 goals, nine assists and Blake Burke has six goals and 13 helpers. The entire line now sits fourth, fifth and sixth in league scoring. 

Jonah Smith has nine goals. Eight players in the SI have 10 or more. Defencemen Nolan Palmer and Dayvan Bull have 13 points each. Bull missed several games with a broken finger. Owen Cotter and Alex Lucas have 10 points and Cedrik Robidoux has nine.

Jack Osmond has a 5-4-1 record between the pipes with a 2.83 GAA and .931 SV% in 594 minutes. Matthew Spencer-Dahl is 3-1-1/2.33/.941 with 309 minutes. Goaltending is a strong point in Sioux Lookout.

The Bombers average about four less minutes per game in the bin than league average.

Sioux Lookout has 29 goals for and zero shorthanded against on their powerplay, which is rated at 27.6%–second in the league to Kam River’s 29.1%. Their penalty kill is above average as well at 82.0%

 They’re still packing ’em in at the Hangar, averaging 466 fans through eight home dates.

Kam River 13-2-0 26 pts .867 1st GF 78 GA 38 +40 PIMs 303 PP% 29.1 PK% 80.6 at Dryden 11-6-1 23 pts .639 3rd GF 68 GA 49 +19 PIMs 438 PP% 21.6 PK% 79.1 Fri/Sat

Two league heavy weights do battle in this weekend match-up. Kam River brings a seven-game win streak to Dryden Memorial Arena, armed with the SI’s top powerplay. Dryden is 4-5-1 in their last 10. Expect two grinders here.

Kam River is 2-1-0, Dryden is 1-1-1 in head-to-head action against each other.

Kam River went up to 16th in the recent CJHL rankings, up one from last week. Through 15 games they’re still outscoring the opposition by a 2:1 ratio, 78 to 38. The Walleye are on a seven-game winning streak.

The Fighting Walleye have seven players in the top-16. Jeremy Dunmore has 18 points (8G-10A). Riley Borody has 17. Nickolas Fagnilli has 16. Carter Poddubny, Jett Mintenko, Ryan Doucette and SIJHL top point getter on defence Brydon Bell all have 15. Poddubny has eight power goals among his nine.

Kaden Goodwin and d-man Liam Bell have 12 points, and Daxton Lang and defender Edwin Liang have 11. Braeden Duchesne has 10. 

Kam averages 5.2 goals for per game, tops in the league. They have the best powerplay, but are average on the penalty kill.

Ashton Sadauskas leads the league with nine wins. His 2.38 GAA is among the league leaders. Rookie Travis VanderZwaag has a 2.58 GAA and .908 save percentage in half the minutes (605 to 303) of Sadauskas. 

Let’s not forget that first place thing. They have games in hand on their closest pursuers as well.

The Walleye have 303 PIMs in 15 games, 20.2 minutes per contest.

Dryden is an uncharacteristic 4-5-1 in their last 10 games. 

Max Roby has 12 goals and six helpers in 16 games. Roby was selected forward of the month for October. McLaren Paulsen have seven goals and seven assists in his 13 games. Eli Antoine also has 14 points. Bryce Benfield has six goals and seven helpers in just nine games. Sean Smith (5G 7A) and defender Sebastiano Biagi (3G 9A) have a dozen points each. Forward Kaden Bandura and defenceman Geoff Bjarnason have 10 points apiece.

Goaltender Ewan Soutar has been out for a month. He was absolutely electric in his six games, going 4-1-0 with a 1.13 GAA and .958 save percentage. 

Michael O’Sullivan is 6-5-1 while carrying the load with 3.33 GAA and .889 save percentage.

The Ice Dogs have the third best powerplay at 21.6% and a penalty kill at 79.1%.

Dryden averages 24.3 penalty minutes per game.

Fort Frances 3-12-1 7 pts .219 7th GF 35 GA 75 -40 PIMs 389 PP% 13.8 PK% 80.5 at Kenora 1-12-1 3 pts .107 8th GF 29 GA 95 -66 PIMs 366 PP% 9.8 PK% 70.0 Fri/Sat 

The Lakers are 2-0-0 against the Islanders. Kenora salvaged a point in a 6-5 shootout loss on October 27 in Kenora.

Fort Frances is showing signs of breaking out with a 3-1 win and a fairly tight 4-2 loss at home against Dryden last weekend.

Offensively, the Lakers could use more goals. Cobe Delaney has seven markers in 14 games to lead the charge. Power forward Ryker Watt has five goals, five assists and 44 penalty minutes. Clark Scaddan has 8 points, and while Brady Krentz, Jack Wood and rookie defenceman Evan Kabel have seven each. 

In net, Jack Orchard has two wins (not just one as I reported earlier). With a 3.85 GAA and .913 SV% and 577 minutes in net Orchard will be a key man going forward as the Lakers shake off a slow start. Lukas Toth is 1-3-0 in his five appearances.

The Lakers powerplay stands at 13.8% and the penalty kill is 80.5%.

Fort is essentially tied with Dryden with 24.3 penalty minutes per game.

Kenora is playing out of Woodland Arena for this home series against Fort Frances.

Goalie Matthew Stephens has 587 minutes in the Islanders net facing a ton of rubber–615 shots worth– in his time there. Through it all the ’04 Brandon, MB native has .891 save percentage in his 10 games.

Up front Aaron Bertschinger sits 21st in league scoring with nine goals and four assists. The Islanders have the fewest games played in the league so fellow forwards Brayden Mackay (4G 6A) and John Paul Scaringi (2G 8A) will have a few extra games to beef up the point totals. Jeremiah Jacques has eight points.

The Islanders average 26.1 penalty minutes per game–the highest in the SIJHL. A total of 21 players have 30 minutes or more. The Islanders have five of the top 16 penalty minute players in the league.

On special teams, Kenora is 9.8% with the powerplay and 70.0% on the penalty kill.