Oliver Paipoonge, ON – The Kam River Fighting Walleye staked themselves to a 4 goal lead to open Game 5 of the Bill Salonen Cup Finals, and then held on to take a narrow 4-3 victory over the Thunder Bay North Stars. The win gave the Walleye a 3-2 lead in the series, and a chance to close it out on Monday night at the Fort William Gardens.
The line of Kennan Reyelts, Euan Morrison, and Riley Borody provided much of the Kam River offence. Borody opened the scoring with a nice deflection in front, Reyelts scored the next two, and Morrison provided helpers on all 3. Ethan Lang scored a powerplay goal, midway through the second period, to round out the scoring for the home side.
Despite a valiant effort, the North Stars couldn’t quite complete the comeback. Second period goals from Sam Skillestad and Nikolas Campbell, and a third period marker, again from Skillestad, weren’t quite enough as the Walleye survived a furious third period. Kam River was assessed 10 minutes in penalties in the final frame, including the last 4 minutes of the contest.
Eric Vanska was excellent in between the pipes for the Fish, turning aside 47 of 50 shots to earn his 7th win of the playoffs.
Game 6 of the Battle of the Lakehead takes place Monday night at the Fort William Gardens.