2022 Showcase: A Look Back


By: Gary Moskalyk, SIJHL

Three Friday games and two Saturday games highlighted the schedule as the SIJHL held their annual Showcase event at Wessman Arena in Superior, WI. Red Lake was unable to attend because of illness. A Saturday night exhibition tilt also took place Saturday night.

Fort Frances 1 @ Sioux Lookout 4

The Sioux Lookout Bombers scored three first period goals in 1:10 to defeat the Fort Frances Lakers 4-1 in Friday’s Showcase-opening 1:00 p.m. game.

Raphael Marois stopped 26 of 27 shots for the win, while Ryan Tanner let in four of the 21 he faced.

The Bombers climbed above .500 with a 4-3-0 record while Fort Frances fell to 1-6-0.

Connor Burke scored at 11:54 and assisted on Aiden Parker’s effort 20 seconds later. Tegan Neuman capped the outburst on a Phil Parker assist at 13:04 to give Sioux Lookout a 3-0 lead.

Clark Scaddan’s third from Ian Snooks drew the Lakers to within a goal at 13:18 of the second.

Tyler Decoff rounded out the scoring midway through the third with his fourth.

Connor Burke and Aidan Parker had a goal and assist each, while Phil Parker assisted on Sioux Lookout’s third and fourth goals.

Fort Frances was 0-5 on the powerplay. Sioux Lookout went 0-3 on the PP. The game was completed in a brisk 2:17. Attendance was not announced.

Dryden 6 @ Kam River 3 FEATURE GAME

In a battle of league heavyweights Dryden overcame a 2-0 deficit, reeling off five straight goals including three in a 74-second second period spree, to defeat the Fighting Walleye 6-3.

The win avenged season-opening losses to Kam River in Dryden back in September. The Ice Dogs are on a six-game winning streak.

Anthony Oviedo opened the scoring 22 seconds in and McKenzie Sedgwick scored shorthanded at 11:53 to give the Walleye their 2-0 lead. Landen Stromme would reply later on the same Dryden powerplay to make it 2-1.

Dryden banged in four in the second frame.

James Hooton scored his first of the game at 6:31. Max Roby notched his first of the year at 7:18. Stromme added his second of the game (seventh of the year) at 7:45 on a powerplay and Ryland Maier nailed his fifth at 13:31.

“We had a tough start. Our first period wasn’t what we wanted it to be,” said Stromme. ‘We knew we needed to come out and play our type of hockey in the second period. We did that exactly.”

Stromme was picked up from the Humboldt Broncos of SJHL. A physical presence there, he’s added a good bit of offence to his game with Dryden.

“The role I played in Humboldt was more of a grinder, and a little bit of an enforcer I guess you could say. I like to think I’m still playing physical here. My confidence has been really boosted here. Got a fresh start with Dryden. Got the opportunity. . . It’s not a single man effort by any means. Everybody on our team is going good right now.”

Maier’s goal ended Eric Vanska’s evening. Jack Orchard played the remaining 26:29 in the Kam River net, stopping eight of nine.

Jeremy Dunmore pulled Kam to within two at 2:47 of the third. James Hooton bagged his fifth of the campaign with 23 seconds left.

Eric Clark stopped 33 of 36 shots for his fifth win of the year.

“Bus legs had something to do with our first period,” said Dryden head coach Kurt Walsten. “In the second period we slowly figured it out. It was more like Ice Dog hockey. We were winning battles, working hard, doing the little things. In the third period we changed what we were doing because we had the lead. Overall it was a good effort for our guys.”

Dryden was 2-4 on the powerplay. Kam River was blanked on four chances and now sits at three goals in 59 powerplay chances on the season.

“We started well. Pretty solid first period,” said Fighting Walleye head coach Matt Valley.

“They started pouring it on. They did what Dryden does. They were fast, they were physical, they worked hard, they kept it simple and it worked,” he continued. “Our guys didn’t match their effort for seven or eight minutes and they scored four. . . We had our chances to score on the powerplay. We didn’t, again. Powerplay’s not executing. They out-worked us for seven minutes. I think that’s what happened.”

Thunder Bay 4 @ Wisconsin 3

Thunder Bay’s league-league powerplay sprung to life in the third period, scoring three unanswered goals to propel the visiting North Stars to a 4-3 win. After being outshot 23-10 and outscored 3-1 by Wisconsin through 40 minutes, the Lumberjacks took four third period penalties and paid the price on three of them.

Matt Halushak’s point shot beat Kyler Lowden at 6:29 of the third. Colby Feist scored his first goal as a North Star in his first game at 13:22. And Dylan Winsor would deposit his third of the campaign at 18:30 to decide the game in regulation time. Thunder Bay did not allow Lowden to be pulled for an extra attacker.

Thunder Bay’s powerplay sits at 29.7%.

The Stars pelted Lumberjack starter Kyler Lowden with 15 shots in the third. Meanwhile, Connor Lemieux’ standout goaltending positioned the North Stars for the victory. He stopped 28 of 31 for his fourth win. His 2.16 GAA and .935 SV% are both second in the league.

Zach Johnson opened the scoring at 9:45 of the first. Hayden Cattani’s shorthanded marker at 5:15 would tie it. Johnson scored his second of the game at 7:01. Dillon Phillips scored at 11:28 for a 3-1 Wisconsin lead. Ryder McMillen picked up his 13th assist and 21st point on the play.

Cattani, Halushak and Winsor all had one goal and one assist for Thunder Bay.

Sioux Lookout 9 @ Thunder Bay 2

Sioux Lookout doused the North Stars four-game winning streak with an emphatic 9-2 win.

Blake Burke had two goals and an assist, Tegan Neuman and Connor Burke had a goal and three points, and Ty Bahm had four helpers to lead the attack.

Bobby Doukov had a goal and assist for Thunder Bay.

Jake Manners stopped 29 of 31 for the win. Aidan Thompson took one for the team, stopping 23 of 32 in the Thunder Bay goal.

Sioux Lookout was 4-9 on the powerplay. Thunder Bay was blanked in four opportunities. The Stars were assessed 44 penalty minutes. Sioux Lookout tallied 20.

Jonah DesRosiers scored in the first for Thunder Bay midway through the opening frame. Neuman and Blake Burke tallied in an 11-second span at 20 and 31 seconds to give Sioux Lookout a 2-1 edge early in the second.

Doukov would tie it up briefly before the floodgates opened. Phil Parker (PP), Jake Hale (PP), Kalin Roy and Blake Burke (PP) scored before the Zamboni had a chance to flood the ice.

Sioux Lookout added three more in the third. Connor Burke, Graeme Patrick and Aidan Milburn bagging his first goal of the season on the powerplay, rounded  out the scoring.

Kam River 7 @ Fort Frances 2

Kam River threw 61 shots at Brenden Stroble, Logan Gallagher and Jack Cook had two goals each, and the Walleye notched a rare powerplay goal as they hammered the Lakers 7-2.

Jack Orchard had 15 saves to pick up his third win.

Kam River had three goals by the halfway point of the first. Eli Neilsen scored his first of the season at 2:10, Cook had a powerplay goal at 9:44, and 30 ticks later Gallagher had his first of two.

Ethan Elgie made it a game at 8:16 of the second for Fort Frances. Holden Woodcroft picked up his seventh of the year to regain a three-goal Kam River advantage.

The Fighting Walleye score three of the four third period counters to put the game in the books. Cook, Carson Gorst and Gallagher score for the Walleye.

Jack Wood sandwiched in his first goal of the season at 7:59 for Fort. Elgie added an assist, and Dyson Germann had two helpers for the Lakers.

Gorst, Anthony Oviedo and Ethan Lang had multipoint efforts for the Walleye. Gallagher had a four-point haul, and Cook added an assist.

Stroble faced 21, 17 and 23 shots over three periods and was selected third star.

Only four minor penalties were called. Three went to the Lakers.

Dryden 16 @ UWS Yellowjackets 1

Dryden outshot the University of Wisconsin-Superior 56-11 with predictable results as the 2022-23 SIJHL Showcase wrapped up at Wessman Arena in Superior, WI.

Home court advantage meant little in this contest as the Ice Dogs added nine to the two they scored in the first period, plus five more in the third. UWS broke Zac MacDonald’s shutout bid at 18:53 of the third on a goal by Brayden Tyman.

Trevor Soderlund was shelled for all 16 goals, stopping 40 of 56.

Bryce Benfield had a hat trick and five points. Derek Koivisto went 2-3-5 for his handful. Max Roby had four points. Brandon Melsness, Landen Stromme, Tyler Earl, Jordan Pfoh and Brady Frattinger had three in the exhibition game that produced only five minor penalties.