SIJHL Week 18 Review

By Gary Moskalyk

Fort Frances 7 at Kenora 4 Tuesday

Jack Wood scored three goals in the third period as part of a five-goal uprising, as the visiting Fort Frances Lakers overcame a 4-2 deficit to defeat the Kenora Islanders 7-4 in an afternoon tilt at the Moncrief Construction Sports Centre in Kenora.

With the Lakers down 4-2 entering the third, Wood took control. He got one through the pads of Matt Stephens at 1:43 of the final frame. He tied the contest at 4-4 at 11:46, faking a shot to draw a Laker defender, and fired in his 10th goal. Noah McPherson got the game winner at 13:02, as the Lakers controlled the zone. McPherson completed a tic-tac-toe with Caige Starr and Brody Lindal. At 14:46 Wood corralled Clark Scaddan’s rebound to make it 6-4. Landon Lowes shot in an empty netter at 18:53 to complete the comeback.

Lakers goaltender Gunner Paradis collected his second win but wasn’t around for the final celebration. He and Stephens fought at centre ice with six seconds left to punctuate a contentious affair that drew 68 penalty minutes overall. The Lakers  took 45 of the 68.

Kenora’s John Paul Scaringi opened the scoring at the 0:42 mark. Ian Snooks replied at 2:36 for the Lakers. 

Kenora took a 4-2 lead in the second. Nolan Rawn went through the legs of Paradis on a Kenora powerplay just 28 seconds in. Brody Lindal re-directed Clark Scaddan’s shot at 5:14 to tie it at 2-2. Chance Traverse scored from the slot in traffic at 6:57 and Brayden Mackay’s backhander at 19:01 gave the Islanders a 4-2 edge heading into the third.

Any momentum the Islanders may have generated with their last minute score in the second period dissipated quickly as Wood and Co. fired in five unanswered markers.

Lindal and McPherson added assists, Scaddan had three helpers, and Magnus Pearson continued his hot hand with two assists to propel the Lakers.

Ten different Islanders recorded a point.  

Wisconsin 3 at Kam River 4 (OT) Friday

Edwin Liang scored on a Kam River 2-on-1 at 1:22 of overtime as the Fighting Walleye defeated Wisconsin 4-3 before 403 fans at Norwest Arena.

Wisconsin skated off with a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes. Kaden Goodwin sniped his 8th bar down at 9:56 on a Kam River powerplay to get the Walleye on the board.

Wisconsin’s big guns struck for three in a span of 5:12. Dillon Phillips scored unassisted, using his speed from his own blue line to create a breakaway, firing one past Ashton Sadauskas glove side for his 17th at 10:44. Just 26 seconds later Nolan Fowler connected on another Wisconsin breakaway, collecting his 16th. Zach Johnson completed the uprising with his 14th on a give-and-go with Phillips at 15:56. 

Sadauskas shut down the Miners from there.

Carter Poddubny’s backhander beat Wisconsin’s Riley Burnett at 17:35 of the second to make it 3-2. Nickolas Fagnilli scored from the slot at 9:11 of the third to tie the game. Poddubny got his 17th and Fagnilli his 16th.

Liang, a defenceman, scored on a 2-on-1 with Jett Mintenko. A beautiful feed and a one-timer polished off the Kam River comeback.

Sadauskas won his 20th, making 22 stops. The Walleye climbed into a tie for second place with the North Stars and kept pace with Sioux Lookout, who also won. Fagnilli and Goodwin added assists, and Mintenko had two helpers for the Kam crew.

Burnett was on the hook for 57 shots, stopping 53 of them in the Lumberjacks’ cage. Phillips was Wisconsin’s only two-point man.

Kam River was 1-4 on the powerplay, and killed off three Wisconsin powerplay chances. Wisconsin had five minor penalties to Kam River’s four.

Wisconsin 5 at Kam River 8 Saturday 

Kam River saw their three-goal lead disappear and then poured in five consecutive markers to defeat Wisconsin 8-5 before 458 fans at Norwest. Seven Fighting Walleye had two points or more and Travis VanderZwaag stopped 29 of 34 to even his record at 6-6-1.

A total of 13 goals were scored in the first.

Evan Lachimea scored at 18 seconds to ignite the fireworks. Ryan Doucette laid the puck on his stick and Lachimea deposited his first goal of the season. Doucette got the second one, bulling his way through the Wisconsin ‘D’ for his 13th. Kaden Goodwin got his 9th under the pads of William Forrester on a Walleye powerplay at 8:53 for the 3-0 Kam River lead.

The Lumberjacks tied the game with three markers in a 3:14 span. Koen Burkholder went top shelf, William McDonnel scored from a sharp angle under the pads of VanderZwaag, and Connor Corcoran backhanded in his 5th. McDonnel’s and Corcoran’s goals were on Wisconsin power plays.

Both teams’ penalty kill departments had a tough night. Wisconsin and Kam River had three powerplay goals each. Nickolas Fagnilli on the powerplay and Doucette rounded out the first period scoring with goals at 13:36 and 18:01. 

Up 5-3 entering the second frame, the Walleye asserted full control scoring the next three for a five-goal lead. Daxton Lang (powerplay), Jeremy Dunmore and Jett Mintenko had Kam River up 8-3 by 6:37 of the second. Ryan Kayser scored on a Lumberjack powerplay at 18:01 and Nolan Fowler rounded out the scoring at 4:16 of the third as Forrester and VanderZwaag squelched most of the scoring in the second half of the game.

Doucette had two goals and had an assist, one of five Kam River players with three points. Dunmore, Lang and Fagnilli had a goal and two helpers, Brydon Bell had three assists, and Mintenko and Goodwin added assists for two points each.

McDonnel and Fowler had a goal and an assist for Wisconsin. Kaden Postal and Dillon Phillips chipped in with a pair of assists each.

Both powerplays were 3-5. 

Forrester saw his record drop to 6-5-1 in the loss. He stopped 36 of 44.  

Red Lake 3 at Sioux Lookout 4 Friday

Owen Cotter collected a goal and two assists to power the Sioux Lookout Bombers to a 4-3 decision over the visiting Red Lake Miners before 321 patrons at the Hangar. The Bombers victory kept them in first place–five points ahead of Kam River and Thunder Bay.  

Owen Riffel scored on a breakaway, notching his league-leading 27th 3:25 into the game, with Blake Burke (25 assists) and Dayvan Bull (26 assists) helping out. Aiden Corbett scored his 24th on a 2-on-1 with Noah Tenney at 13:54 to knot the score. Trever Sanderson got one past the glove of Ethan Neitsch at 15:56 of the first for a 2-1 Bomber lead.

Cotter for Sioux Lookout and Jared Burnett of Red Lake exchanged second period goals. Cotter finished off a three-way passing play with Cobe Delaney and Bull for his 10th of the year at 7:28 for a 3-1 lead, and Burnett scored from the slot at 15:32 to make it 3-2.

Connor Burke’s 21st, a one-timer at 2:52 of the third, opened up a 4-2 Bomber lead. Kyle Grysiuk scored on a Red Lake power play with 2:21 left to shave the lead to 4-3. The Miners added an extra attacker with a minute to go but Jack Osmond held the fort for the win.

Osmond stopped 18 of 21 for his 13th win of the year. Neitsch was the busier of the two goalies, facing 42 shots.

Delaney and Bull ended up with two assists each for Sioux Lookout, while Corbett and Grysiuk tacked on assists for two points for Red Lake.

The Miners connected on one of five powerplay chances, while holding Sioux Lookout scoreless in four opportunities. Red Lake took 18 of the 28 penalty minutes assessed. 

Red Lake 1 at Sioux Lookout 2 Saturday 

Goalies Matthew Spencer-Dahl and Noah Davis duked it out in net, with Spencer-Dahl emerging victorious as the Bombers defeated Red Lake 2-1 before 559 fans at the Hanger. Spencer-Dahl made 32 saves and lowered his goals against to 1.63 while upping his save percentage to .954 in his 8th win.

Davis stopped 36 of 38 in the loss, lowering his record to 9-3-0. 

Sioux Lookout maintained their five-point lead in the standings with their seventh point in four games.

After a scoreless first Red Lake opened the scoring at 4:51 of the second. Ethan Cerone fanned on his one-timer from the slot, but the puck had enough juice to trickle through the pads of Spencer-Dahl for a 1-0 Miners’ lead. Earlier in the shift, the Miners forced a turnover and were able to maintain the zone leading to Cerone’s 9th of the year.

Down 1-0 entering the third, Cobe Delaney tied the contest 23 seconds in. Delaney’s 10th was unassisted as he corralled a loose puck and fired it past Davis.

Connor Burke got his 22nd on a nifty move and even better shot for the game winner. The Bombers were at their stingy best from there on in. Red Lake pulled Davis with 35 seconds left and Ryker Watt nearly tied it with eight seconds left, but the Bombers held tight for their 27th win of the year. Sioux Lookout has one regulation loss in their last 10 games.

Red Lake was 0-1 in their lone powerplay chance while the Bombers missed the mark on four chances. 

Dryden 3 at Fort Frances 0 Friday

Ewan Soutar collected his third shutout of the year, a 33-save effort, as the visiting Dryden Ice Dogs defeated Fort Frances 3-0 before 320 fans at Ice for Kids Arena in Fort Frances. The win gives Dryden 50 points, just one back of second place Kam River and Thunder Bay.

Eli Antoine wristed in his 13th unassisted at 18:04 of the first period to open the scoring. 

The two turning points of the game: Soutar made a glove save on Brandon Gustafson’s penalty shot at 1:02 of the second. The second: Dryden’s Carson Devine stripped the puck deep in the Laker zone and scored shorthanded midway through the third period to open up a 2-0 lead.  

James Hooton continued his hot hand, scoring his 4th on assists from McLaren Paulsen and Sebastiano Biagi at 14:04, to close out the scoring. Hooton has four goals in his four games since coming back, while adding a pair of assists.

Soutar is now 12-6-3 on the season, dropping his GAA to 2.29 while improving his SV% to .928. Jack Orchard stopped 41 of 44 in the Laker net, dropping to 4-14-2 on the campaign. 

Neither team scored on the powerplay. Fort Frances had three of the five powerplay opportunities. The Ice Dogs took 18 penalty minutes. The Lakers had just two minor penalties.

Dryden 4 at Fort Frances 3 (SO) Saturday

Carson Devine scored for Dryden in a four-man shootout and Jack Wood missed for Fort Frances in his attempt to tie it as the Ice Dogs won their 8th in a row with a 4-3 decision over the Lakers. A total of 336 fans took in the action. The win shot Dryden into 3rd place, one point ahead of Thunder Bay, and one point behind Kam River, with nine games left in their regular season.

James Hooton scored in Dryden’s second shootout attempt as did Brady Krentz for the Lakers. For the record, Max Roby and McLaren Paulsen for Dryden, and Ian Snooks and Clark Scaddan for Fort Frances were also stopped by Lukas Toth in the Laker net and Christian Lynch in the Dryden cage.

Lynch picked up his third win for Dryden, shunting aside 40 of 43. Toth handled 37 of 40 for the Lakers.

Both teams scored a goal each in all three periods leading to a scoreless five-minute overtime and Devine’s game winner. Remington Richardson popped the water bottle behind Lynch for a 1-0 Lakers lead at 6:44 of the first. Elias Eisenbarth snuck one through Toth’s pads at 11:40 to tie the score at 1-1.

Eli Antoine turned on the jets, netting his 14th at 11:58 of the second for Dryden. Richardson scored his second of the game and 4th of the year shorthanded on a semi-breakaway at 15:20 to make it 2-2.

Sean Smith scored on a Dryden powerplay at 13:13 on a one-timer for his 10th of the year. Brody Lindal snuck in from his defence position on a five-forward Laker powerplay at 14:27 and one-timed his 14th with assists from Scaddan and Magnus Pearson to send it into extra time.

Both teams managed one shot in overtime.

Dryden was 1-3 on the powerplay while Fort Frances was 1-5. Dryden had 20 penalty minutes to Fort Frances’ six.