By Gary Moskalyk

Dryden 1 at Fort Frances 3 Friday

Jack Orchard had his best game of the season as the Laker netminder stopped 53 of 54 Dryden shots in a 3-1 Fort Frances win before 347 fans at Ice for Kids Arena in Kenora. It was Orchard’s first win of the year.

Luc Fortier beat him with his first of year, corralling a loose puck, with a assists going to Sean Smith and Tag Bryson for a 1-0 Dryden edge. Ian Snooks got his first of the year at 11:38 of the first for Fort Frances to tie it. Snooks deflected Trever Sanderson’s point shot to beat Michael O’Sullivan on the powerplay.

Cobe Delaney notched his 7th on a Lakers’ face off win going low blocker side for a 2-1 Lakers lead.

After a scoreless second, Caige Starr fed a wide open Jack Wood at 10:53 for an insurance marker. Orchard shut the door after that, lowering his GAA to 3.85 while upping his save percentage to .913 in the process.

O’Sullivan dropped to 4-5-1 on the year while facing 35 Laker shots. Dryden’s other goaltender Ewan Soutar is still nursing an injury. O’Sullivan has been Dryden’s goalie of record since October 18th.

Both teams took four minors each.

Clark Scaddan had two assists for Fort Frances. 

Dryden 4 at Fort Frances 2 Saturday

McLaren Paulsen scored two and assisted on another to lead the Ice Dogs to a 4-2 win over the Lakers before 517 fans in Kenora. 

Dryden held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before third period goals by Jackson Payeur and Carson Devine broke a 2-2 tie and handed Michael O’Sullivan his 5th win of the year in Dryden cage.

Paulsen got his first of the game on a Dryden powerplay, beating Lukas Toth from the point for his 6th at 11:05 of the first. Ryker Watt’s 5th beat O’Sullivan glove side on a dandy pass from Evan Kabel to tie it one-all.

The teams exchanged second period goals. Paulsen backhanded a breakaway shot bar down at 9:25 to put the Dogs up by one. Lakers’ forward Kabel blocked a point shot at his own blue-line, and rumbled down on a breakaway to score a shorthanded marker at 17:34. The Lakers were down two men at the time, and it was also Dryden’s first shorthanded goal allowed of the season. Only Sioux Lookout has no shorthanded goals allowed this season.

Dryden drained a pair in the third to take the win. Payeur scored from a tough angle at 2:44 for his first of the year. Devine cashed a rebound at 15:56 on a Dryden powerplay to account for the scoring. 

Fort Frances failed to capitalize on a late powerplay. 

The win tied Dryden with Thunder Bay for second place in the SIJHL while sending them a point clear of fourth place Sioux Lookout.

Eli Antoine had three assists for the Ice Dogs. 

The Lakers took five minor penalties to Dryden’s four. Dryden was 2-5 with man advantage. Fort was 0-4.  

Sioux Lookout 4 at Thunder Bay 5 Thursday 

Tyler Jordan scored on a Thunder Bay powerplay at 7:11 of the third period as the North Stars continued their ascent up the SIJHL standings with a 5-4 regulation win over the Bombers at a packed Fort William Gardens. The 11 a.m. start drew a School Day crowd of 3,510.

Jordan cleaned up a rebound in front of Jack Osmond and buried his 9th of the year and second of the game to provide the winning margin. The 5’10”, 161-lb American out of St. Michael, MN has given the surging Stars another scoring option since joining the club mid-season.

Sioux Lookout took a 3-1 lead through one period. Tait Howell scored 47 seconds in, and Owen Riffel got his 14th to double the Bomber lead at 5:09. Jordan got his first at 8:09 to narrow the margin, but Dayvan Bull scored unassisted 90 seconds later to re-establish the two-goal spread.

Thunder Bay outscored Sioux Lookout 3-1 in the second period to tie it at 4-4.

Easton Mikus’ one-timer–his 14th–at 1:42, and EJ Paddington’s wrap around at 11:17 knotted the score at three-all. Nolan Palmer’s floater from the point put the visitors ahead, but Easton Glousher’s first goal of the season on a perfect feed from Drew Caddo tied it up with just nine seconds left in the second frame.

Jordan got the lone goal of the third. The Stars took a late penalty and the Bombers pulled Osmond for an extra attacked for an extended 6-on-4. Keenan Marks thwarted all 11 third period shots to garner the win with a 36-save effort.

Osmond faced 42 shots, stopping 37.

Thunder Bay was 1-3 on the powerplay, Sioux Lookout 1-6. The Stars took eight of 13 minor penalties.

Sioux Lookout 3 at Kam River 4 (SO) Friday

Carter Poddubny scored a goal-scorers’ goal in the shootout as Kam River continued its home ice dominance with a 4-3 shootout win over Sioux Lookout before 703 patrons at Norwest Arena. 

The Walleye staked out a three-goal lead but the Bombers replied in kind with two unanswered in the second and one in the third to send it into extra time. An exciting overtime session solved nothing.

Kam River’s Travis VanderZwaag stopped Cedrik Robidoux, Owen Riffel and Connor Burke in the showdown. Kaden Goodwin was unsuccessful on the Walleye’s first attempt. Poddubny laid a dangle on Matthew Spencer-Dahl and parked a one-handed backhander five-hole through Dahl for the game-winner. VanderZwaag stoned Burke on the Bombers’ third failed attempt to end it.

All six goals in regulation were powerplay tallies. Jeremy Dunmore took a bank off the back boards and scored his 8th for a 1-0 Walleye lead. Matteo Salvatore buried a rebound for his first goal of the year at 6:42 of the second, and Nickolas Fagnilli picked up a loose puck and made no mistake for his 7th to provide a 3-0 Walleye cushion. 

The Bombers swooped in for three powerplay goals of their own. Dayvan Bull went five-hole on VanderZwaag for his 3rd of the year. Connor Burke batted in a puck on a Sioux Lookout 5-on-3 to make it 3-2.

Tait Howell’s 5th tied the game at 15:29 of the third to send the game into extra time.  

Poddubny’s goal made a winner of VanderZwaag who secured win number four against one loss with 28 saves. Spencer-Dahl faced 54 shots in the Bomber net. Liam Bell had three assists and Dunmore and Fagnilli had a goal plus an assist each for Kam River.

Sioux Lookout scored three times in 10 chances and Kam River was three for seven on the powerplay.

Sioux Lookout 4 at Kam River 5 Saturday

Kam River’s 5-4 regulation time win over Sioux Lookout on Saturday ensures the Walleye will finish atop the SIJHL standings after week 8.

Kam River saw its 4-1 lead evaporate, but a Matteo Salvatore’s goal just 23 seconds after the Bombers tied it 4-4 put the home team ahead to stay. 

Carter Nailen had the first two goals of the game and of his season as the Walleye pulled out to a 2-0 lead. Nailen connected from the high slot low blocker at 2:45. His wrister from the high slot four minutes later on a Walleye powerplay doubled the lead. Jonah Smith replied for Sioux Lookout at 17:29 but Jett Mintenko re-established a two-goal lead at 19:08 on Walleye man advantage to close out the first period scoring.

Braeden Duchesne stashed a rebound at 8:37 of the second for a 4-1 Walleye spread. Owen Carter banged home his 4th of the year at 11:57 on a Bomber powerplay to get the Bombers to within two.

Cotter and Smith tied the game up with Bomber goals in the third. Cotter got his second of the game at 6:04 on a Sioux Lookout powerplay, and Smith followed with his second at 16:33. With overtime looming, Duchesne kept the puck in the Bomber zone, took a shot, and Salvatore collected the rebound and got it past Jack Osmond for the game-winner at 16:56.

Sioux Lookout had a couple late chances but winning goalie Ashton Sadauskas made a pair of big saves to preserve the win.

Osmond faced 50 shots in the Bomber cage while Sadauskas turned aside 21 for his league-leading 9th victory against one loss.

Salvatore and Duchesne added assists and Max Wright had two helpers in addition to Nailen’s breakthrough night for Kam River.

Tait Howell had two assists in support of Cotter and Smith’s two goals for Sioux Lookout.

Both teams connected twice with the man advantage. Kam River took 23 of 40 penalty minutes assessed. 

A crowd of 811 witnessed the action.


Thunder Bay 5 at Kenora 0 Saturday

Edison Weeks scored two goals as Thunder Bay scored two late goals in the first and added three more in the third for a 5-0 win over the Kenora Islanders at Woodland Arena in Vermillion Bay, ON.

Ethan Barron collected his first shutout of the season in the Stars’ net, stopping 31. 

Rookie Connor Larrett capitalized on a loose puck for his first goal of the season at 17:43. Two minutes later Weeks got his 7th with a top corner snipe on Matthew Stephens for a 2-0 North Stars lead.

After a scoreless second, Dimitri Trahiotis got his 3rd of the year at 42 seconds of the third. Trahiotis now has seven points in his last three games. Trahiotis got his 12th assist of the year on Tyler Jordan’s 10th of the season, and Weeks powered a one-timer past Stephens at 16:06 to round out the scoring. 

Jordan also had an assist, and leading scorer EJ Paddington had two helpers in a winning cause.

Matthew Stephens faced 47 shots in the loss.

Kenora took 29 of 42 penalty minutes handed out. 

The Islanders had one chance on the powerplay and Thunder Bay was 0-4 with the man advantage.

Thunder Bay 6 at Kenora 2 Sunday

Edison Weeks scored three and assisted on another as the North Stars defeated Kenora 6-2 in Vermillion Bay. Thunder Bay scored two on the powerplay and one shorthanded to vault into second place.

The Stars are on a 12-game unbeaten streak while the struggling Islanders haven’t won in 13.

The Stars scored two goals in each period. Weeks tallied twice in the first and Braden Swampy replied for Kenora. 

Beau Helmeczi scored shorthanded at 6:00 for a 3-1 lead, and Weeks got his hatty at 8:34 on a Thunder Bay powerplay for a 4-1 lead. Aaron Bertschinger got his 9th for Kenora at 17:59 to shave the lead to two.

EJ Paddington scored at 7:52 on a Stars powerplay for a 5-2 lead, and Jarod Lemieux got his first of the year at 11:19 to finish off the scoring at 6-2.

Paddington had a goal and two assists and Easton Mikus had two helpers as the Stars top line occupies the top three slots in SIJHL scoring. Paddington has 31 points, while Mikus and Weeks have 28 each.

Keenan Marks won his 8th of the year stopping 25 shots. Matthew Stephens saved 41 of 47. 

Thunder Bay was 2-5 with the powerplay while Kenora was 0-4. Kenora took 20 penalty minutes to Thunder Bay’s 18.