SIJHL Week 15 Review

By Gary Moskalyk

A 10-game week meant plenty of action in the SIJHL. Red Lake won all four games to rekindle a little championship swagger. Sioux Lookout is unbeaten in five. Dryden vs. Kam River produced a lot of goals. Fort Frances is on a 10-game slide but there were encouraging signs against Red Lake. Thunder Bay and Sioux Lookout offered a preview of playoff hockey. Wisconsin cut down on goals allowed.

Kam River 8 @ Fort Frances 1, Tue Jan 10 

Riley Borody snapped a 1-1 tie with 16 seconds left in the first period and the Fighting Walleye scored six unanswered in periods in periods two and three to defeat the hometown Lakers 8-1 at Ice for Kids Arena. 

Brady Krentz gave the Lakers a 1-0 lead at 8:02. Forward Noah Kramps, acquired from the Stony Plain Flyers of the CapJHL, had his first goal as a Walleye several shifts into his first game, collecting a rebound to tie it up at 15:38. 

Borody’s late goal proved to be pivotal as Kam River poured it on over the next two frames.

Max Leduc upped the lead to 3-1 and defenceman Jack Cook scored his 8th and 9th goals of the year to make it 5-1 after 40.

Mackenzie Sedgwick and Josh Pufahl scored 13 seconds apart and Jeremy Dunmore added his 11th at 6:40 to account for all the scoring.

The Walleye upped their winning percentage to .804 with the win, their first action in a month. They are 12th in the latest CJHL rankings.

Eric Vanska collected win number 16, stopping 33 of 34. Brenden Stroble faced over 20 shots in every period, stopping 61 of 69 in the Lakers suffered their 8th consecutive loss.

Dunmore also had an assist, Ryan Doucette and Anthony Oviedo had two helpers each, and 15 different Walleye players recorded at least one point.

The Walleye entertain Dryden for a weekend pair while the Lakers take on Red Lake Friday and Saturday.

Wisconsin 1 @ Thunder Bay 2 (OT), Wed Jan 11 

EJ Paddington scored with 18 seconds left in overtime as the North Stars defeated the visiting Lumberjacks 2-1 before 261 fans at the Fort William Gardens. Thunder Bay was able to hold the zone, Carter Anton fed RJ Dickie, Dickie’s point shot produced a juicy rebound, and Paddington was there to bury his 6th of the year.

The SI’s top point producer, Wisconsin’s Ryder McMillen, opened the scoring at 4:10 of the first, ripping a shot off the left post and in on Conner Lemieux, who eventually stopped 39 for his 7th win.

The game remained scoreless from there, until Nolan Desjardins notched his fifth at 12:47 of the third, breaking Kyler Lowden’s shutout bid with 7:13 to go. Lowden also faced 40 shots total in a relatively penalty-free contest.

Thunder Bay had three minor penalties, Wisconsin just two. All three goals were even strength.

Thunder Bay’s ascent to 4th place lasted an hour as Red Lake defeated Dryden to stay ahead in the standings.

The North Stars used four affiliates–Carter Poddubny, Eric Sheriff, Evan Lachimea and Jared Lemieux (Conner Lemieux’ brother) –to cover injuries and a pair of one-game suspensions.

Thunder Bay tackles Sioux Lookout for a pair, while Wisconsin has a Sunday tilt at home against Red Lake. The Miners will be on their third game in a row, and fourth in five nights. 

Dryden 3 @ Red Lake 4, Wed Jan 11

Jack Osmond stopped 44 of 47 shots to backstop the Miners to a 4-3 win over Dryden at Cochenour Arena, snapping Dryden’s six-game unbeaten streak.

Anthony Pileggi tallied his first of the season at 17:07 of the first, and Mason Mowat’s 6th made it 2-0 at 3:34 of the second as Red Lake jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Bryce Benfield’s powerplay effort and Brady Frattinger would tie it up for Dryden.

Red Lake’s Jacob Lamoureux became the first player to hit 20 goals with his unassisted powerplay marker at 15:26 of the second.

Ty Woodard’s third period goal gave Red Lake their second two-goal lead of the game. Ryland Maier collected a rebound at the expiration of a Dryden powerplay at 17:54 closed the gap, but the Ice Dogs couldn’t find the equalizer. Max Roby rang one off the post with under a minute left with Clark on the bench.

No player in this game, or the Thunder Bay/Wisconsin game, registered more than one point.

Dryden was 1-5 on the powerplay, while Red Lake was 1-8. 

Eric Clark shouldered the loss in the Dryden cage. 

Dryden 3 @ Kam River 6, Fri Jan 13: Dryden 9 @ Kam River 5, Sat Jan 14

Kam River improved their record to their 11-1-0 in the Staal Barn with a 6-3 win over the Dryden Ice Dogs, with 896 fans in attendance.

Kam River had leads of 1-0 and 4-1, before Dryden rallied to close the gap to 4-3 by 16:52 of the second.

Riley Borody had the Walleye on the board 90 seconds in, scoring his 3rd on a rebound.  Ben Hackl replied on a Dryden powerplay at 3:46. Brodie McLeod and Josh Pufahl extended the lead to 3-1 and Jack Cook registered his 10th with a top of the left circle wrist shot at 0:17 of the second for a 4-1 lead.

Landen Stromme scored from the blue paint and Max Roby’s powerplay one-timer at 16:52 got the Ice Dogs to within one.

Noah Kramps scored on a 5-on-3 for Kam River at 4:07, and Ethan Lang’s 9th, an empty-netter at 18:48, rounded out the scoring.

Dryden was 2-9 and Kam River 3-11 on the powerplay. Jason Begin and Kevin Bragnalo called 34 infractions in a very physical contest.

Eric Vanska had 34 saves for Kam River, improving to 17-2-1. Eric Clark stopped 34 of 39.

In game two of the weekend series Brady Frattinger and Co. scored five consecutive goals to wipe out a 5-4 Walleye lead to gain a split with a 9-5 Dryden win before 800 fans at Norwest. Frattinger scored two shorthanded and had a powerplay marker.

Dryden’s Landen Stromme drew first blood, tipping in a point shot for his 16th. Frattinger added with his first of three at 6:05. Kobe Braham and Jeremy Dunmore replied for the Walleye. All four first period goals were on the powerplay.

Seven goals highlighted period two. Dryden went up 4-2, Kam River got three to forge ahead 5-4, only to have the Dogs net the next two for a 6-5 lead heading into period three. 

Seb Biagi netted two in a row for Dryden. Noah Kramps, Anthony Oviedo and Kramps, again, scored in a 54-second span to recapture the Walleye lead. Kramps has four goals in three games. Bryce Benfield and Frattinger’s first shorty on a faceoff win put Dryden back in the driver’s seat.

It was all Dryden in the third. Frattinger netted his hatty at 4:45 shorthanded, Jordan Pfoh notched number 11, and James Hooton registered his 13th to close out the scoring.

Walleye starter Eric Vanska took the loss, allowing eight goals on 31 shots. Jack Orchard came on in relief and surrendered Hooton’s goal among the 11 shots he faced.

The Walleye had 55 shots against Eric Clark, who won his 13th.

Hooton and Stromme added two assists each and Easton Debray had three helpers for Dryden.

Mackenzie Sedgwick, Jack Cook and Josh Pufahl had two assists each for Kam River.

Dryden’s powerplay, best in the league at 23.3%, went 3-4, while Kam River’s 3-10 effort puts them at 16.6%.

Dryden had 32 penalty minutes to Kam River’s eight.

Sioux Lookout 3 @ Thunder Bay 4 (OT), Fri Jan 13: Sioux Lookout 1 @ Thunder Bay 0, Sat Jan 14

Edison Weeks scored the overtime winner 36 second into overtime as the Thunder Bay North Stars defeated the Sioux Lookout Bombers 4-3 before 603 fans at the Fort William Gardens. 

Nikolas Campbell celebrated his return to the Bay with a goal and assist and Conner Lemieux saved 38 in the win. Weeks had a pair of goals and an assist. Connor Burke notched a pair to lead the Bombers.

Nolan Desjardins opened the scoring at 4:36 of the first with a low, blocker side shot. Burke garnered his first 80 seconds later with a steal and snipe to tied it up.

The Bombers scored two of three in the second frame to take a 3-2 lead. Weeks pilfered the puck at the Bomber blue-line and beat Jake Manners for a 2-1 Stars edge.

Ty Bahm deposited a rebound at 2:20 on a Bomber powerplay and Burke collected his 9th with a glove-side top shelf laser at 15:55.

Campbell’s wrister tied it up for Thunder Bay at 4:51 of the third.

The Stars started the overtime session on the powerplay and dominated throughout. Matthew Halushak kept the zone, dished to Campbell and Weeks buried Campbell’s rebound for the game winner.

Lemieux improved his record to 8-4-3 on the year. Manners made 30 saves in the loss. It was Sioux Lookout’s first game to go beyond regulation.

Both teams went 1-4 with the man advantage.

In Saturday’s game league statistician Paul Wehrstedt had an easy job picking the three stars. Owen Riffel, game winner: Jake Manners, shutout: Conner Lemieux, 33 saves, one goal allowed. The Bombers maintained their hold on third place with a 1-0 win over Thunder Bay. 

Riffel intercepted a cross-ice pass in his own zone, trucked down the right wing, and fired one past Lemieux at 11:19 of the second. His unassisted shorthanded marker stood the rest of the way. Riffel dinged one off the crossbar later in the game but that one stayed out. 

Manners improved to 14-8-1 with his second shutout of the year. He dropped his goals against average to 2.59 and upped his save percentage to .922.

Lemieux improved to 2.84/.926 with his 34 saves.

A pair of misconducts pushed Thunder Bay’s penalty minutes to 30, while the Bombers checked in with a rather saintly three minor penalties.

Attendance was 521.

Red Laker 8 @ Fort Frances 5, Fri Jan 13: Red Lake 5 @ Fort Frances 4, Sat Jan 14

Red Lake built a 6-2 lead and saw the Lakers bounce back with three in third before two late goals settled the matter.

Aiden Corbett notched a hat trick and added three assists to power the win. Jacob Lamoureux had a pair and two assists, Colton Crysler had two goals, and newcomer Kaelen Veldman had a goal and three helpers for Red Lake.

Lamoureux has 22 goals to lead the SIJHL in goals.

Reid Zurkan scored his first of the season midway through the first frame and Corbett replied at 12:52 to tie it.

Veldman scored at 1:45 of the second. Ten combined goals were scored in the 27:55 span between the end of the second and the third.

Corbett and Jack Wood for the Lakers, Lamoureux and Crysler had second period markers. 

Lamoureux’ second goal at 2:47 had the Miners up 6-2. Even strength goals by Clark Scaddan, Dylan Wedward and Brady Krentz pulled Fort to within one at 6-5. 

Corbett’s unassisted effort at 19:05 gave the Miners a two-goal edge (and himself a hatty), and Crysler’s 15th 33 seconds later finished the scoring.

Jack Osmond turned aside 30 of 35 for his 11th win. His 1,287 minutes in net tops the league. Ryan Tanner saved 36 in the Laker net.

Red Lake converted three of four powerplay chances, while Fort was 1-4.

In Saturday’s game Kevin Bond had a hat trick for the Lakers, but Colton Crysler had a pair for Red Lake and Trent Boryszczuk thwarted 49 of 53 shots to give Miners a 5-4 decision before 271 fans at Ice for Kids Arena.

Crysler’s one-timer opened the scoring at 7:19 of the first. Bond put the Lakers ahead with a low blocker side marker at 15:47 and a one-timer with 13 seconds left in the initial frame.

Red Lake took a 4-2 lead with three consecutive goals. Luke Decorby’s redirect on a powerplay, Crysler’s 17th, and Quintyn Sidaway’s unassisted shorthanded marker on a misplayed puck provided the two-goal margin.

Ryker Watt clicked on a Fort Frances powerplay, depositing Clark Scaddan’s rebound for his 12th at 18:58 of the second to pull the Lakers to 4-3.

It took exactly one period and one second for Kyle Schechtel to bury an empty netter with Brenden Stroble on the bench to give the Miners a 5-3 lead at 18:59. Bond tossed aside the apparent dagger with his unassisted goal at 19:23 setting up a hectic finish. Stroble was pulled three different times, but the Lakers couldn’t quite pull it off.

Stroble ended up with 34 saves for the Lakers.

Matthew Macpherson had three assists for Red Lake. 

The Miners, already three games in four nights, made it four in five with their Sunday night game against Wisconsin. 

Red Lake 3 @ Wisconsin 1, Sun Jan 15

It was mission accomplished for Red Lake. Aiden Corbett scored two and assisted on one, Jacob Lamoureux had a goal and assist, and Jack Osmond stopped 37 of 38 as the Miners won their fourth game in five nights with a 3-1 win over a well-rested Wisconsin Lumberjacks squad. The Miners shot into third place in the tightly packed two-through-five SIJHL standings, albeit with more games played (33) than anyone else.

Connor Hacker opened the scoring at 12:30 of the first with his sixth of the season for Wisconsin.

Osmond shut the door after that and Corbett and Lamoureux flexed for two goals in the second and one in the third for the win.

Corbett tied the game with a top shelf glove side effort at 5:36 of the second. Later, he took the puck from his own blue line into the Wisconsin zone, worked himself into the slot and wired in his 14th at 12:06.

Nearly all of the penalties came at the end of the second period, with fighting majors and game misconducts being assessed. No penalties were called in the first or third periods. Neither team had a powerplay opportunity in the game.

Lamoureux added an insurance goal from the left dot at 15:09.

Wisconsin outshot Red Lake 38-25. Osmond collected his 13th win. Kyler Lowden dropped to 7-8-4 with the loss.