Week 5 Preview
By: Gary Moskalyk (SIJHL)
The SIJHL Showcase week comes early this year. Six weekend contests and two exhibition games fill the eight-game slate at Wessman Arena in Superior, WI.
On Sunday, Red Lake journeys to Spooner, WI to play the Lumberjacks, rounding out the week’s action.
Thunder Bay 4-3-1 GF 21 GA 19 @ Wisconsin 4-4-1 GF 36 GA 34 10 a.m., Friday Oct. 21
Thunder Bay puts their three-game winning streak on the line against Wisconsin.
Edison Weeks has emerged as their top offensive force with 12 points, good for third in the SIJHL. Dylan Winsor and Noah Broughton have six points each. The powerplay is clicking at a league-high 25.0 percent. The penalty kill sits at 87.8.
Head coach Rob DeGagne has three goalies to choose from (Jero Rossi is a fourth).
Connor Lemieux has 300 minutes under his belt with a GAA of 2.00 and save percentage of .939. Aidan Thomson has played a game, allowed two goals and stopped 95.1 per cent of the pucks directed his way. Keenan Marks won his lone start, sports a GAA of .968, and a goals against less than 1.00 (65 minutes). There’ s a three-headed monster any coach would love to have.
Thunder Bay leads the league in power play efficiency, 25.0 percent, and kills penalties at 87.8%. Penalty minutes are 22.6 per game, about league average.
Wisconsin averages four goals a game, tied with Dryden for tops in the SIJHL. They’re winless in their last three games.
Top gun Ryder McMillen leads the league in overall scoring with 20 points, on eight goals and 12 assists. Dillon Phillips is second at 14 (3-11). Defencemen Dylan Jouppi and Zach Carson have 10 and nine respectively. Carson, impressively, has seven goals from the blue-line. Salvatore Poggiali, Brandon McDonald and Caden Sutter have nine points each and Connor Hacker has seven. That’s eight players in the top 20, five in the top 10.
Goaltending? Good, so far. Kyler Lowden has a 3.75 GAA and .925 SV% with 384 minutes in the books. Emmett Doherty has 100 minutes played, with a 3.00/.928 slash line.
The Lumberjacks have a 20.9% success rate on the PP, and have killed penalties at 79.5% rate with eight goals allowed. They’ve also scored five times on the PK, almost half of the league total of 11.
Their 16.4 minutes in the penalty box is second lowest in the league.
Fort Frances 1-5-0 GF 12 GA 32 @ Sioux Lookout 3-3-0 GF 21 GA 22 1 p.m. Friday
Fort Frances has had a very tough year so far. Their lone win, a forfeit, was actually an 8-1 defeat at home against the North Stars.
Kaden King and Ryan Tanner have struggled in net, sitting at .880 and .872 in SV%.
With only six games played Brandon Rossetti has three goals and three assists for a point-a-game pace. Clark Scaddan and Ian Snooks have three points each.
The powerplay is a respectable 20.0%, but the penalty kill is at 65.4%.
The Lakers have averaged 20.8 penalty minutes.
Head coach Paul McLean has had some time to work on things during the Lakers light schedule.
Sioux Lookout’s recent trip to Norwest Arena resulted in a pair of losses, 4-3 and 5-0, to Kam River. The 5-0 effort is their only lopsided loss. Head coach Carson Johnstone has his roster scoring at 3.50 goals per game, while allowing just one more goal than they’ve scored.
Blake Burke and Lucas Trimarchi have six points each, while Connor Burke and defenceman Tyler Decoff have five each.
Jake Manners has 239 minutes in the cage, with a GAA of 2.77 and SV% of .905.
Raphael Marois and Odin Church have a game played each.
The powerplay is at 13.2% while the penalty kill is a sparkling 87.9%.
The Bombers have averaged 22.0 minutes in penalty time.
Dryden 5-3-0 GF 32 GA 22 @ Kam River 8-1-1 GF 36 GA 28 4 p.m. Friday
Dryden got off to an 0-3 start, but have reeled off straight five wins since. They meet the first place Fighting Walleye in the Showcase’s marquee matchup. Their plus/minus differential of +10 is tops in the circuit.
Ryland Maier paces the Ice Dog attack with 10 points in six games. Bryce Benfield, 3-6-9, Jordan Pfoh, 5-3-8, and Landen Stromme, 5-2-7 populate the top-20 in scoring and captain Brady Frattinger also has seven points on two goals and five assists.
Eric Clark has 305 minutes in net with a 2.36 GAA and .925 SV%. Zac MacDonald posts 3.03/.900 numbers in a back-up role.
Dryden’s PP is 17.6%. Penalty kill is 82.2%.
The Ice dogs average 25.1 minutes in the box.
Kam River sits at 8-1-1, undefeated in four. Last year was no fluke, the Fighting Walleye look to be a major player come playoff time base on this year’s start.
Eric Vanska’s six wins and 456 minutes in net lead the league. Jack Orchard has been solid in the back-up role, with two wins and a loss.
Holden Woodcroft’s 6-4-10 points puts him in 5th place in the scoring race. Ethan Lang, 4-5-9, and Jeremy Dunmore, 3-5-8, are in the top-20. Euan Morrison and Carson Gorst have seven points and Cooper Fink has six.
Despite scoring 3.6 goals per game Kam River’s powerplay is operating at 5.5 percent efficiency. Look for that number to improve. The penalty kill is 87.7%.
The Team has averaged 23.5 penalty minutes.
Kam River has a goal differential of +8. Their 9-1 road loss to Red Lake (Oct. 8) is an off-the-charts statistical outlier.
Red Lake 4-5-1 GF 33 GA 34 @ University of Wisconsin-Superior 7 p.m. Friday
Red Lake is 0-2-1 in their last three games. They’ll be waiting until Saturday’s Dryden match-up at 4:00 p.m. to get off the schneid.
They have killed off penalties at an exceptional 95.3% clip. Their powerplay is 12.3.
R.J. Dickie’s 11 points paces the Miner attack. Jacob Lamoureux’s seven goals is second in the league. Colton Crysler and Jeremy Dunmore have nine and eight points respectively. Defenceman Dayvan Bull has a goal and six helpers. Evan Maslack has been a solid addition with his 3-2-5 numbers.
Jack Osmond has been stellar in net sporting a 1.97 GAA and .942 SV% with three of the team’s four wins. Osmond has one of the three shutouts in the league so far. Jaxson Taupert (3.59/.897) has shared the duties in goal. Taupert is up a game’s worth of minutes, 367-304.
The Miners average 13.9 penalty minutes, lowest in the SIJHL.
Red Lake takes on the University of Wisconsin-Superior Yellowjackets on Friday. UWS opens their regular season at Wessman Arena on Nov. 4.
Kam River @ Fort Frances 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22
Sioux Lookout @ Thunder Bay 1 p.m. Saturday
Red Lake @ Dryden 4 p.m. Saturday
Wisconsin @ University of Wisconsin-Superior 7 p.m.
Red Lake @ Wisconsin 7:05 CDT Sunday