Oliver Paipoonge, ON – The Kam River Fighting Walleye battled back from a two goal deficit to take game one of a weekend series over the Wisconsin Lumberjacks.
The home side got on the board first, midway through the opening period. Kaden Goodwin took a slot-pass from Jett Mintenko and lifted the puck into the top corner to make it 1-0 Walleye. The powerplay goal was Goodwin’s 8th of the season. The Lumberjacks would come on strong in the second half of the period. First, Dillon Phillips scored his 17th on a breakaway to tie the contest at one. Then, just 25 seconds later, Nolan Fowler gave the visitors a 2-1 lead. It was the rookie forward from Coldbrook, Nova Scotia’s 16th tally of the year. Before the 1st was through, Zach Johnson roofed a shot over Walleye netminder Ashton Sadauskas to make the score Wisconsin 3, Kam River 1 heading in to the 1st intermission.
The Walleye came on strong in the middle frame, outshooting the ‘Jacks by a 24 to 7 margin in the period. They were unable to beat Wisconsin starter Riley Burnett until the 17 minute mark of the 2nd, when Carter Poddubny poked a loose puck in for his 17th of the year, to close the gap to 3-2.
The home side continued their push in the 3rd, once again out-shooting their opponents, this period by a 19 to 6 deficit. Nick Fagnilli tied the game for Kam River, taking a slick one touch pass from Max Wright and sliding the puck into the low corner for his 16th of the season. Both teams had late chances to get the go ahead goal with regulation time winding down, but both goalies stood tall to get the game to overtime.
Just over a minute in to the extra frame, Edwin Liang converted a nice pass from Jett Mintenko on a 2-on-1 break, to win the game for the Fighting Walleye.
Ashton Sadauskas earned his league-leading 20th win of the season in between the pipes for the Walleye.
The two teams battle once again on Saturday night at NorWest Arena.
G & G Excavating 3 Stars
3rd – Dillon Phillips WIS
2nd – Kaden Goodwin KRW
1st – Edwin Liang KRW