By Gary Moskalyk
Thunder Bay, ON – First place Thunder Bay and its 15-game unbeaten streak is in tough with a game against Kam River on Wednesday and two against Dryden on the weekend. The SIJHL has six “lone” games this week. The only Friday/Saturday match-up is the Thunder Bay/Dryden one.
The top four teams are tightly bunched. The top three are separated by two points. Fort Frances is playing .500 hockey in its last 10 games and is two points behind Wisconsin for 6th. Ewan Soutar is back in net for after coming off an injury for Dryden. Owen Riffel and Burke boys continue to produce for Sioux Lookout and Dayvan Bull leads all d-men in scoring with 16 points, tied with Kam’s Brydon Bell. Wisconsin has the week off.
Buckle up for a great week.
Sioux Lookout 13-5-2 28 pts .700 3rd GF 82 GA 51 +31 PIMs 352 PP% 28.7 PK% 85.3 at Red Lake 9-7-1 19 pts .559 5th GF 68 GA 48 +20 PIMs 307 PP% 13.0 PK% 85.9 Tuesday
Sioux Lookout and Red Lake meet for the first time this year.
The Bombers have Owen Riffel and Dayvan Bull back in the line-up. Both are major point producers. Riffel leads the charge with 29 points on 16 goals and 13 assists. Connor Burke (13G 12A) has a three point lead over Blake (7G 15A). Jonah Smith has nine goals, eight assists. Bull is over a point-a-game with 16.
Nolan Palmer has 15 points, Owen Cotter 11, and Tait Howell, Alex Lucas and Cedrik Robidoux all have 10.
Matthew Spencer-Dahl is second amongst qualified goalies with a 1.95 GAA, and .948 SV%. Jack Osmond is the minutes leader with a 2.66/.933 split. Matthew Ofukany hasn’t lost in his three starts.
The Bombers are currently second in powerplay efficiency at 28.7 per cent, and third on the penalty kill at 85.3%.
The Bombers average 17.6 penalty minutes per game.
Red Lake saw their four-game win streak snapped in Thunder Bay. They took game two of that series with a 3-2 shootout win.
The Miners do not have a player in the top-20 but still average four goals per game. Aiden Corbett leads the points parade with 15. Nathan Dann has 10 goals in nine games. Noah Tenney has 12 points. Gabe Tanton, Landon van Engelen and Bryson Carlyle all have 11.
Ethan Neitsch has three wins in 10 games but his 2.15 GAA and .936 SV% paint a different picture. Noah Davis has a 2-1-0 record in a back-up role.
The Miners average 18.1 penalty minutes per game.
On special teams the Miners are 13.0% on the powerplay but second (85.9%) on the penalty kill.
Kam River 14-3-0 28 pts .824 2nd GF 86 GA 47 +39 PIMs 352 PP% 30.2 PK% 79.3 at Thunder Bay 14-4-2 30 pts .750 1st GF 83 GA 56 +27 PIMs 351 PP% 18.2 PK% 88.2 Wednesday
Kam River and Thunder Bay meet for the first time this year.
One of the SIJHL hottest rivalries will meet in game one of seven head-to-head matches on Wednesday. A crowd of over a thousand would not be a stretch.
The Walleye’s eight-game winning streak is over, courtesy of Dryden.
The team is still plus-39, and lead the league in powerplay percentage (30.2) and winning percentage (.824). They’re in second place but with three games in hand on the Stars, Sioux Lookout and Dryden. They’re ranked 16th amongst CJHL teams.
Six players are in the top-20. Jeremy Dunmore leads the offense with 10 goals and 10 assists. Nickolas Fagnilli has 19 points. Ryan Doucette, powerplay sniper Carter Poddubny (nine markers on the PP, 11 overall), Riley Borody and defencemen Brydon Bell are in the 16-18 point range. Jett Mintenko (15 pts), Kaden Goodwin and Edwin Liang, 13, and Liam Bell, 12, are in the 21-40 range. Daxton Lang, Matteo Salvatore and Max Wright all have 10 or more points.
Ashton Sadauskas has 10 wins in net with a 2.53 GAA in 654 minutes. Travis VanderZwaag has a 4-2-0 record with a 2.82 GAA in 362 minutes.
The Walleye have a PK of 79.3% thanks to the powerplay of Dryden last weekend. Both team were prolific with the man advantage.
Kam River averages 20.7 penalty minutes per game.
Thunder Bay took five of six points against Red Lake to keep their unbeaten streak alive. They haven’t played Kam River yet, and two of their four season losses came against upcoming Dryden. Their last two losses were against the Ice Dogs on October 6 and 7.
The top line of EJ Paddington, Edison Weeks and Easton Mikus reached 100 points on the weekend. Paddington has 36 to lead the league, Mikus and Weeks have 32 points each. Mikus is tied with Riffel of Sioux Lookout with 16 goals.
Tyler Jordan has 12 goals and 18 points in 15 games. Dimitri Trahiotis is 20th in league production with 16 points. Cohen Tangedahl has 13, Drew Caddo, 12, and Connor O’Brien, 11.
Keenan Marks is tied with Sadauskas with 10 wins. Marks’ 715 minutes in net leads the league. His 2.52 GAA and .923 SV% place him in solid territory. Chances are Marks and Sadauskas will square off in this contest.
Ethan Barron is 4-2-2 with a 2.68/.908 split.
Thunder Bay’s powerplay is at 18.2% with a league-leading penalty kill of 88.2%. The Stars spend an average of 17.6 minutes per game in the penalty box.
Dryden 12-7-1 25 pts .625 4th GF 77 GA 57 +20 PIMs 496 PP% 22.3 PK% 77.2 at Red Lake Friday
Dryden has two regulation wins against Red Lake.
The Ice Dogs have a one-game winning streak and it came against Kam River. They’ll have a tough three-game weekend with this game and two against Thunder Bay at home.
Max Roby and Bryce Benfield lead the offensive charge. Roby has 13 goals and nine assists, while Benfield has 17 points (nine goals) in just 11 contests. McLaren Paulsen and Sean Smith have 15 points each. A pair of defencemen, Geoff Bjarnason and Sebastiano Biagi, have 13 and 12 points respectively. Kaden Bandura has 10.
Ewan Soutar is back. The Regina, SK native has 5-1-0 record and leads the league in GAA with a 1.21, and SV%, .957. Michael O’Sullivan is 6-5-1 in 703 minutes. New acquisition Liam Vanderkooi is in reserve.
Dryden’s powerplay was boosted over the weekend with their games against the Walleye. They’re third in the league at 22.3%. The penalty kill sits at 77.2%.
The Ice Dogs average 24.8 penalty minutes per game in the box.
Sioux Lookout at Kenora 1-14-1 3 pts .094 8th GF 32 GA 105 -73 PIMs 424 PP% 8.1 PK% 71.9 Friday
Sioux Lookout defeated Kenora 2-0 in their only meeting.
Kenora has just one win and a shootout loss in their 16 games.
Forward Aaron Bertschinger has been a bright spot. His 10 goals make him one 11 10-goal men in the SI. Bertschinger has four assists. Brayden Mackay has four goals and seven assists and John Paul Scaringi has 11 points on two goals and nine helpers. Jeremiah Jacques has nine.
Matthew Stephens has 647 minutes in goal with a 6.58 GAA and .891 SV%. Kaden King has 5.16 GAA in 163 minutes. Jero Rossi has 6.82 GAA in 158 minutes between the pipes.
The Islanders’ powerplay is at 8.1% and the penalty kill is at 71.9%.
Kenora’s 424 penalty minutes averages out to 26.5 minutes per game.
Fort Frances 5-12-1 11 pts .306 7th GF 45 GA 78 -33 PIMs 453 PP% 13.0 PK% 83.2 at Kam River Saturday
Kam River has four regulation wins against Fort Frances.
The Lakers are 5-5-0 in their last 10.
Ryker Watt has seven goals and six helpers on the season along with his usual feisty 46 penalty minutes. Cobe Delaney had 11 points (just traded to Sioux Lookout), Clark Scaddan and Brady Krentz have 10. The team is sitting at 2.65 goals per game.
Jack Orchard has a 3-7-1 record in 637 minutes in net. Orchard has a 3.58 GAA and .915 SV% and will lead any Lakers surge in the standings. Lukas Toth and Gunner Paradis have a win each.
Fort Frances is 5th in powerplay proficiency at 13.0%. Their penalty kill is 83.2%–above league average. They’ve drawn an average of 25.2 penalty minutes per game.
Red Lake at Kenora Saturday
Red Lake has one regulation win against Kenora
Thunder Bay at Dryden Sat/Sun
Dryden defeated Thunder Bay twice in October by 4-0 and 4-1 scores in Thunder Bay.