By Gary Moskalyk
Kenora, ON – Wisconsin broke open a 4-4 tie with the last three goals of the game to defeat the Kenora Islanders 7-4. Zach Johnson had a pair of goals, Koen Burkholder had a goal and two assists, Ryan Kayser and Maddox Achtor had a goal and assist each, and Axel Wyatt had two assists to lead the Lumberjacks’ attack. Jeremiah Jacques had two goals and Aaron Bertschinger had a goal and assist to propel the Islanders.
William Forrester evened his record at 1-1 with his second start, while former North Star Jero Rossi was on the hook for six in the Lakers net.
Wisconsin opened up a three-goal lead and led 3-1 through the first period. Kayser, Achtor and Johnson scored for Wisconsin. Bertschinger got his second of the season at 16:23 on an Islander powerplay to tighten the score to 3-1.
Kenora fought back to tie it in the second. Jacques scored at 8:35 and Keelian Lavasseur at 10:26. Burkholder re-established a Wisconsin’s one-goal lead at 15:53.
Jacques notched his second shorthanded at 6:40 of the third to re-tie the game at 4-4. Kenora stripped the puck at their own blue-line and rumbled in on a two-on-one. Jacques fired a “sizzler” past Forrester as a crowd of 639 erupted in approval.
Johnson and the Lumberjacks had other plans, however. Wisconsin maintained good zone pressure. Johnson corralled a loose puck on the side boards, walked out in front and scored his second of the game at 8:10 to put the visitors up for good. Simon Davidson added to the lead and Dillon Phillips got an empty-netter with 40 seconds left.
Kenora took 18 of the 30 penalty minutes assessed by referees Travis Batters and Jon Kocis. Shots on goal were unavailable.
Wisconsin entertains the 2-0 Sioux Lookout Bombers next Friday and Saturday. The 0-2 Thunder Bay North Stars travel to the Moncrief Construction Sports Centre for a pair against the Islanders Saturday and Sunday.