By Gary Moskalyk
Kam River 6 @ Wisconsin 4, Fri Feb 24
Anthony Oviedo had two goals and two assists and Eric Vanska got his 24th win as the visiting Fighting Walleye defeated Wisconsin 6-4 in Spooner, WI. Kam River built a 6-1 lead with 4:08 to go before Zach Davison, Ryder McMillen and Simon Davidson struck in a 3:01 span to put a crimp in Vanska’s stats and fire up a crowd of 311.
Zach Carson opened the scoring at 5:14 of the first for Lumberjacks with his 23rd. It was the game’s only powerplay marker.
Oviedo recorded his 13th at 16:06 of the first stanza to tie it.
In the second, the Walleye counted four to take a commanding lead. Braeden Duchesne scored the first two. Kobe Braham and Kennan Reyelts added in.
Oviedo notched his second at 15:52 of the third for the 6-1 margin. Wisconsin made it close with three quick ones but with 53 seconds left couldn’t find another two to tie it. The Lumberjacks fired 16 shots at Vanska in the third–43 overall. Kyler Lowden fell to 11-14-5, making 29 stops.
Seven Walleye players had two points or more. Braham and Reyelts added assists. Noah Kramps, Mackenzie Sedgwick and Daxton Lang had two helpers each. A third period fight punctuated a cleanly played game.
Thunder Bay 5 @ Red Lake 6, Fri Feb 24: Thunder Bay 5 @ Red Lake 2, Sat Feb 25
Red Lake defeated Thunder Bay for the first time in six tries with the SIJHL’s top sniper leading the way. Jacob Lamoureux scored two to up his total to 31, Matthew MacPherson added a pair, and Jack Osmond turned aside 48 shots for the Miners’ first win in nine games.
Red Lake evened their record at 19-19-5.
RJ Dickie had a goal and three helpers for the Stars, who outshot the Miners 53-34. Keenan Marks saw his record drop to 11-5-1 in the loss. Osmond improved to 15-11-2.
Thunder Bay let 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 leads slip away. Dylan Winsor opened the scoring for Thunder Bay, MacPherson tied it and Dimitri Trahiotis scored his 14th to give the Stars a 2-1 lead though 20.
Red Lake scored two of three in the second to tie the game at 3-3 after two. Mason Mowat evened the score, Sam Skillestad re-asserted the North Stars lead with a powerplay marker 23 seconds later, and Lamoureux got his 30th 1:10 after Skillestad’s 2nd of the year.
Luke Decorby put the Miners ahead 4-3 at 14:43 on the powerplay, launching a flurry of goals. Dickie tied it at 15:40, Lamoureux scored at 16:20, MacPherson scored an empty-netter at 18:57 for a 6-4 Miners lead, and Nolan Desjardins scored with eight seconds left to cap off a wild finish.
Decorby had two assists for a three-point night. Mowat had an assist. Brennan Blatz and Colton Crysler had two assists each.
Jamie Fuchs had a pair of helpers for Thunder Bay.
The Stars were 1-6 with the man advantage. Red Lake was 1-5.
The Miners had eight of the 15 minor penalties called.
In Saturday’s re-match defenceman Matt Halushak had two goals and Keenan Marks won his 12th with 37-save effort as Thunder Bay defeated Red Lake 5-2 in a physical affair.
The Miners held a 2-1 lead after the first but the Stars scored four unanswered goals in the last 40 minutes to keep their slim hold on third place.
Red Lake dropped below .500.
Jacob Lamoureux opened the scoring just 52 seconds in, putting it over the glove of Marks, for his 32nd of the year. D-man Dayvan Bull and Colton Crysler both collected their 22nd assists on the marker.
Nolan Desjardins went over the glove of Jack Osmond to tie it up for the Stars.
Matthew MacPherson ripped home his 9th blocker side to make it 2-1 Red Lake.
Thunder Bay scored two in the second to take the lead.
Nikolas Campbell scored from in close to tie the game. Halushak went end to end and notched his 10th with two seconds left in the period on a Stars powerplay for a 3-2 Thunder Bay margin.
Edison Weeks registered number 22 on a shorthanded snipe and Halushak went five-hole with 2:03 left for an insurance marker on a Stars powerplay.
Two bouts broke out in the third, as 73 minutes in penalties were called in the match.
Campbell added an assist to his goal for Thunder Bay.
The Stars scored two powerplay goals in eight chances, while killing off all five Red Lake powerplays.
Sioux Lookout 2 @ Fort Frances 3 (OT) Fri Feb 24: Sioux Lookout 4 @ Fort Frances 2 Sat Feb 25.
Break up the Lakers. The improving Fort Frances club won their second in a row as Dylan Wedward struck at 2:01 of overtime for a 3-2 win over the Bombers. Sioux Lookout remains one point behind Thunder Bay in the battle for third place.
Wedward had a pair of goals and Brenden Stroble continued to improve his numbers, winning his 6th with a 43-save performance.
Fort struck for two in the first.
Wedward notched his 10th unassisted with a top left corner snipe at 7:44. Brady Krentz scored his 10th on the powerplay.
Sioux Lookout tied it up in the second. A bad Fort Frances clearing attempt eventually ended up in their net courtesy of Connor Burke’s 13th. Ty Bahm’s 17th on a Bomber powerplay knotted the score at two-all.
Stroble and Jake Manners kept the opposition of the score sheet in the third. With Lucas Trimarchi in the bin, Wedward buried a powerplay marker at 2:01 of overtime from four feet out to give the Lakers their 9th win.
Manners stopped 40 of 43 for Sioux Lookout. Brady Wicklund garnered two assists for the Lakers.
Fort Frances was 2-7 on the powerplay. Sioux Lookout was 1-8. Sixty-one penalty minutes were called. Attendance was 314.
In Saturday’s game Blake Burke scored three goals and Lucas Trimarchi had three assists as the Bombers avenged Friday’s OT loss with a 4-2 win. They may not be breaking up the Lakers, but Brady Krentz and Ryker Watt, two of the better Fort Frances players, were out with suspensions.
Dylan Wedward opened the scoring a minute in, collecting his third in two games. The Fort Frances lead was short-lived as Calum McGill wristed one in from the blue-line through traffic for his first goal of the season just 17 seconds later.
Burke would collect his 19th at 16:18 of the first for a 2-1 Bomber lead.
Burke hit 20 goals for the season at 1:39 of the second. Trever Sanderson replied for the Lakers. Burke scored on a Bomber powerplay late in the second to complete his hat trick. There was no more scoring in the game.
The Lakers fired 20 shots in the third but Jake Manners stopped them all for his 19th win. Manners leads the SIJHL is GAA (2.49) and SV% (.930). Stroble had 35 saves.
Wedward and Sanderson collected assists for two points each.
The Bombers were 1-5 with the man advantage. Fort was 0-5.
Seventy-seven penalty minutes were assessed in the game, most of them at 16:03 of the second as Connor O’Brien and Logan James duked it out. Fort Frances’ O’Brien alone had 36 penalty minutes in the contest.
Dryden 3 @ Wisconsin 5, Sat Feb 25
Wisconsin went 4-5 on the powerplay with Cooper McClure doing most of the damage with a three-goal night as the Lumberjacks beat the Ice Dogs 5-3 before 323 fans at the Spooner Civic Center. Kyler Lowden stopped 46 of 49 to nail down his 12th win.
It was a night of special teams as the game’s first six goals came with a man differential.
Cooper McClure, Zach Carson and Connor McClure had the ‘Jacks up by three by 8:23 of the first. Jordan Pfoh scored his 15th at 12:12 of the first to tighten the score to 3-1.
McLaren Paulsen scored his 9th short-handed late in the second to pull Dryden to within one. But Cooper McClure scored with five seconds left in the frame to restore a two-goal lead for Wisconsin.
The teams matched even strength goals in the third.
McKale Paul drew the Ice Dogs close, but McClure completed his hat trick at 6:47 of the third to close out the scoring.
Zac MacDonald started the game for Dryden but Eric Clark came on for two periods and was tagged for the loss. Dryden outshot Wisconsin 49-24 overall.
Zach Carson and Connor McClure added assists for Wisconsin.
Dryden took 14 minutes in penalties to Wisconsin’s six.