By Tanner Schafer
It was a lower scoring affair at Norwest arena last night as the league leading Kam River Fighting Walleye defeated the Fort Frances Lakers 3-1.
It was a dominant 3 periods at home for Kam River outshooting the Lakers 61-26, playing a full 60 minutes is something the organization has stressed to the players all season long. Brydon Bell would be the first player onto the score sheet for Kam River as he scored in the first period, his first in a Fighting Walleye sweater. Assists on the tally went to Braden Duchesne his second of the season, and Max Leduc his fourth. Leduc wouldn’t be on the scoresheet again in the game but was dominant in the face off circle, an aspect of the game that the Fighting Walleye as a whole have improved upon greatly in the last 3 weeks. Kam River would put 22 shots on goal in the first period with Fort Frances goaltender Brenden Stroble standing on his head the rest of the frame.
The pace of play would pick up in the 2nd period as just under a minute into the frame Jeremy Dunmore would score the eventual game winner. A 2 on 1 with Ethan Lang didn’t result in an immediate shot as Dunmore carried it low, circled back, and found the back of the net with a rocket. It was Dunmore’s 7th of the season and Ethan Lang’s 15th assist. Fort Frances wouldn’t be held off the board as Connor O’Brien answered back, scoring his first of the season 6 and a half minutes into the 2nd. Assists were credited to Reid Zurkan his 2nd, and Ryker Watt his 3rd. Stroble put on another great performance in the 2nd but Kam River found paydirt once more with under 2 minutes remaining. Off of another faceoff win, this one by Jeremy Dunmore, Kennan Reyelts passed the puck to Ryan Ducette who moved into the slot and scored his 4th of the year. It was Reyelts’ first helper and Dunmore’s 9th.
Things would settle down in the third period as the teams went a full 20 minutes without scoring a goal or taking a penalty. Brenden Stroble would finish with one of the best performances of his career stopping 58 of 61. Jack Orchard had just the lone blemish on his 25 of 26 in a winning effort. Kam River is now 14-4-0-1 (29pts) and Fort Frances clocks in at 2-12-0-0 (4pts).
307 people packed into Norwest arena to watch the Fighting Walleye in their new gray sweaters. The Walleye will also be debuting pink jerseys for their pink the rink game against the Lumberjacks on Saturday night the 2nd game in the team’s weekend series. Fort Frances will return home where they host the Red Lake Miners in a weekend tilt. For all the action, tune into SIJHLTV, your exclusive home of the SIJHL.