SIJHL Week 21 Review

By Gary Moskalyk

Dryden 7 at Kenora 0 Friday

Ewan Soutar collected his league-leading 5th shutout, and James Hooton stayed hot with two goals and two helpers, as the Dryden Ice Dogs dispatched the Kenora Islanders 7-0 at Woodlands Arena in Vermillion Bay, ON. 

The Islanders held Dryden to one goal in the first. Ryland Maier deflected Sebastiano Biagi’s high point shot for his 13th at 12:50.

Dryden struck for three in the second and three more in a penalty-filled third.

McHale Paul scored high from in close at 2:36, Eli Antoine jammed in his 15th at 3:17, and Hooton deflected a point shot from Max Roby at 8:59 to open up a 4-0 second period lead.

Twenty separate infractions were called in a contentious third frame. Two fights broke out at 7:54 and several misconducts were meted out. McLaren Paulsen collected his 23rd and 24th on Dryden powerplays and Hooton cashed in his 7th to round out the scoring portion of the game.

Paulsen added an assist for a three-point night, Geoff Bjarnason had three helpers, and Maier and Antoine also had assists in addition to their goals.

Hooton now has seven goals and four assists in his eight games. Soutar saw his record improve to 14-7-1 and his goals against average to 2.26. Connor Dunham-Fox remained winless in his eight decisions. Dryden clicked on four powerplay chances. 

Shots were not available.

 Dryden 6 at Kenora 1 Saturday

Dryden won their third in a row and ninth in 10 games with a 6-1 win over Kenora. Max Roby had a pair of goals and an assist and Christian Lynch won his 5th game in five starts. Dryden climbed to within a point of Thunder Bay in the battle for third.

The Islanders iced a depleted 13-skater roster but were tied 1-1 through a period.

Max Roby got Dryden on the board, scoring on a rebound at 13:40. Jayden McPherson-Nepinak knotted the score on a one-timer on a nice feed from Keanu Woodhouse at 19:31.

The Ice Dogs scored four unanswered goals in the second to put the game away. Carson Devine registered his 15th at 4:40. McLaren Paulsen got his 25th on a rebound at 8:22. Geoff Bjarnason made it 4-1 with his point shot at 17:06. William Burns got his second of the year from the slot with a minute left in the stanza for a 5-1 stranglehold. 

Roby scored his second of the game shorthanded at 8:48 of the third on a Dryden 2-on-1 to close out the scoring. Dryden took 15 of the 27 minutes assessed. Matthew Stephens saw his record drop to 2-14-1 in the loss. Shots were not available. 

The Islanders entertain the North Stars in a matinee tilt on Sunday.

Fort Frances 0 at Kam River 4 Friday

Ryan Daponte scored two in the first, and Travis VanderZwaag picked up his first shutout with a 22-save effort as the Kam River Fighting Walleye defeated Fort Frances 4-0 at Norwest Arena. The game ended with 10:50 to go in the third period because of ice conditions. Originally suspended, the SIJHL decided to make it official and final after some deliberation.  

The win keeps Kam River within a point of the top spot in the SIJHL. They have a game in hand on first place Sioux Lookout, who won 6-1 in Wisconsin.

The Walleye outshot the Lakers 61-22, and took 28 and 29 shots in the first and second periods respectively. Jack Orchard stopped 57 shots in the Lakers’ cage earning second star status.

Daponte scored from the high slot at 2:03 to open the scoring, making it 2-0 on a feed from Carter Nailen for his 6th of the year at 6:35. Kaden Goodwin slide one under the pads of Orchard at 13:01 for his 11th and a 3-0 Kam River lead.

Jeremy Dunmore scored the lone goal of the second period, a powerplay marker, for a 4-0 lead. Dunmore has 24 goals on the season. Orchard steadied the ship from there. The Lakers held a 6-4 shot advantage in the third before the game was called.

Edwin Liang added two assists for Kam River. The Walleye were perfect with six penalty kills, while going 1-7 on the powerplay. Fifty-four penalty minutes were called with the Lakers responsible for 28 of them.

A crowd of 535 enjoyed the action.

Fort Frances 3 at Kam River 6 Saturday 

Kam River outscored Fort Frances 2-1 in each period, Evan Lachimea notched a pair, and Ashton Sadauskas won his 24th as the Fighting Walleye defeated the Lakers 6-3 before 592 fans at Norwest Arena.

The win, combined with Sioux Lookout’s loss, put Kam River back in first place.

Defenceman Edwin Liang’s one-timer on a Kam River powerplay at 9:33 of the first broke the ice. Carter Poddubny struck 32 seconds later from the slot to double the lead. Brody Lindal went low glove on Sadauskas at 12:02 to narrow the Walleye lead to 2-1.

Braeden Duchesne high snipe from the slot at 1:39 of the second beat Lakers’ netminder Jack Orchard for a 3-1 Walleye lead. Lindal notched his second of the game and 16th of the year at 13:50 to narrow the margin to one. Lachimea got his first to close out the period on a nice feed from Ryan Daponte at 18:32 to make the score 4-2 for Kam River.

Down 4-2, Fort Frances closed the gap to 4-3. Jack Wood connected on a rebound at 12:32 on assists from Caige Starr and Lindal. Lachimea fired in a rebound at 16:09 for his 5th of the year to restore Kam’s two-goal spread. Liam Bell’s long distance unassisted empty netter with 1:04 left sealed the Lakers’ fate.

Fort Frances was 2-6 with the man advantage while Kam River was 1-3. The Lakers took 18 penalty minutes to Kam River’s 14. 

Liang and Duchesne added assists, and Daponte and Kaden Goodwin had two assists each for the Walleye. Lindal of Fort Frances led all scorers with three points. Starr aided the Laker cause with two assists.

Sadauskas made 23 saves to improve to 24-3-0 on the campaign. Orchard shunted aside 40 of 45.

Thunder Bay 3 at Red Lake 4 (OT) Friday

Defenceman Blake Hiltermann scored three goals, tying the game late and firing home the game winner, as the Red Lake Miners defeated visiting Thunder Bay 4-3 in overtime before 312 fans at Cochenour Arena.

Hiltermann opened the scoring, too. The Miners skated out to a 2-0 first-period lead, scoring twice on the same four-minute powerplay. Hiltermann’s low point shot at 8:48 beat North Stars’ goaltender Ben Laurette low blocker side. Aiden Corbett made it 2-0 31 seconds later with a doorstep backhander for number 26 on the year.

Thunder Bay’s Easton Mikus capitalized on a turnover at the Stars’ blue-line and scored shorthanded on a breakaway with 12 seconds left in the first for his 26th goal of his rookie campaign.

Thunder Bay scored two in the second to take the lead. EJ Paddington tied the game at 2-2, collecting his own rebound on a Thunder Bay 2-on-0 at 5:37. Mikus got his second of the game eight seconds into a Stars’ powerplay, cashing in Cameron Dial’s rebound at 7:29.

Thunder Bay nursed the 3-2 lead until 16:09 of the third. Hiltermann snapped one off the iron and in to tie it. Bradyn Rowsell and Preston Tauter assisted. The Miners outshot Thunder Bay 15-6 in the third and 3-1 in overtime.

Hiltermann ended the game, wristing home his 14th from the slot, at 2:57 of extra time for the victory. Hiltermann leads all SIJHL defencemen in goals, 14, and points, 37.

Ethan Nietsch collected his 10th win with a 29-save performance, lowering his goals against to 2.26. Laurette remained undefeated in regulation, stopping 35 of 39. His record is 4-0-1. 

Red Lake took 40 of 70 penalty minutes assessed in a chippy prelude-to-the-playoffs type affair. The Miners clicked on 3 of 8 powerplay while Thunder Bay was 1-4.   

Thunder Bay 7 at Red Lake 2 Saturday

Thunder Bay put an exclamation point on their seven-game regular season series against the Miners with a 7-2 win at Cochenour Arena. The Stars garnered 12 of a 14 possible points and were undefeated in regulation. Red Lake was 2-4-1.

Defenceman Sam Skillestad struck for a pair, Edison Weeks and Tyler Jordan had three points and Alex Remenda had a goal and assist to propel the barrage. Ben Laurette made 31 saves in his second consecutive start for his 5th win. 

The teams were tied at 1-all through 20 minutes. Preston Tauter scored on a Red Lake powerplay at 10:47 to draw first blood. Tristen Bear replied for the Stars with just three seconds left, pouncing on a loose puck and getting it past Jackson Pundyk.

Weeks with his 23rd, and EJ Paddington with his 25th, scored at 34 seconds and 46 seconds of the second for a 3-1 Stars’ lead. Jordan got his 24th at 12:28 of the second frame, re-directing a Garren Voisey point shot on a Stars’ powerplay.

Skillestad stole the show with a pair of powerplay goals to start the third. His point shot gave the Stars a 5-1 lead at 1:23. He went end-to-end on his second tally, unassisted, to increase the lead to 6-1. Remenda notched his 9th at 15:31 for a 7-1 margin. Tauter scored his second of the game at 17:19, going top shelf on Laurette on a Miners’ powerplay to close out the scoring.

A total of 28 infractions were called, with Thunder Bay taking 41 of the 66 penalty minutes assessed. 

Pundyk stopped 25 of 32 in the Miners loss, to fall to 2-1-0 on the season.

Thunder Bay was 3-7 on the powerplay while Red Lake was 2-7.

The Stars head off to Kenora for a Sunday match against the Islanders, and the re-load for Wisconsin at home on Tuesday, their fourth game in five days.

Sioux Lookout 6 at Wisconsin 1 Friday

Sioux Lookout’s Blake and Connor Burke combined for three goals and three assists, Jack Osmond stopped 27 of 28, and the Bombers outshot the Lumberjacks 48-28 en route to a 6-1 win over host Wisconsin in Spooner, WI.

Dillon Phillips broke Osmond’s bid for a shutout at 15:09 of the third after the Bombers built a 6-0 lead.

Connor Burke cashed in the loose change in Riley Burnett’s crease on a Bomber powerplay for the lone goal of the first period. The Bombers took full advantage of 24 second period shots, scoring three, to open up a 4-0 lead through 40 minutes.

Blake Burke scored on a one-timer at 3:10, Cedrik Robidoux registered his 5th when left alone at Burnett’s back door at 10:48, and Kaden Veller faked a shot freezing a Wisconsin defender and used the open space to fire in his 4th at 11:38.

In the third period, Bradley Thompson sniped his first goal of the season with the Bombers on a 5-on-3 powerplay at 5:59. Connor Burke struck for his 24th with brother Blake collected his 24th helper and Owen Riffel tallying his 24th assist on the play at 13:57.

Phillips ended the scoring with his wrap around with less than five minutes left and the outcome decided on Wisconsin powerplay. Phillips has 22 goals on the year.

The Bombers were 2-5 with the man advantage. Wisconsin was 1-2. The  ‘Jacks took six minors to Sioux Lookout’s four. A crowd of 202 watched.

Burnett stopped 42 of 48 and saw his record drop to 3-5-1. Osmond improved to 16-6-2, bumped his save percentage to .936 and lowered his goals against to 2.34.

Sioux Lookout 4 at Wisconsin 6 Saturday

Wisconsin overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to defeat the visiting Bombers 6-4 at Spooner Civic Centre. William Forrester made 45 saves to garner first star status. Kaden Postal and Nolan Fowler had a goal and two assists each, Connor Corcoran and Dillon Phillips had a goal and assist each, and Ryan Kayser had three helpers to lead a pesky Lumberjacks’ attack.

Cobe Delaney stole the puck deep in the ‘Jacks’ zone and fed Owen Cotter as the Bombers struck at 1:11 of the first. Owen Riffel became the first player to hit 30 goals with a powerplay marker at 2:44 to open up a 2-0 Sioux Lookout lead. 

Kaden Postal closed the gap to 2-1 on a feed from Nolan Fowler at 18:13. 

Forrester made a couple of pivotal stops with time running out in the first to keep the game at 2-1.

Dillon Phillips beat Matthew Spencer-Dahl from a tough angle at 13:22 of the second to tie the game at 2-2. Nolan Palmer put the Bombers back in front on a 5-on-3 powerplay to put Wisconsin down by a goal.

The Lumberjacks scored four of the five third period goals to get the win. Simon Davidson tipped in his 9th at 6:55 to tie it at 3-all. Connor Corcoran’s one-timer on a pass from Phillips on a Lumberjacks’ powerplay put the Lumberjacks up one. Koen Burkholder upped the margin to two with his 8th at 16:55.

Cotter got his second of the game exactly a minute later to shave a goal off the lead Wisconsin lead, making it 5-4. Spencer-Dahl left the cage with 1:33 left. Forrester held the fort and Nolan Fowler got his 21st with nine seconds left on a empty netter with Kayser assisting to seal the deal.

Owen Riffel had three points for Sioux Lookout to push his season total to 56. Blake Burke and Kaden Veller had a pair of assists for the Bombers.

The Bombers were 2-4 on the powerplay while Wisconsin was 0-1. 

The Bombers took two minor penalties to Wisconsin’s seven. 

Thunder Bay 13 at Kenora 4 Sunday matinee

Both Thunder Bay and Kenora played their third games in three days as Game 15, a cancelled game from October 1st, finally hit the record books. The Stars exploded for seven unanswered goals in the first period, coasting to a 13-4 verdict at Chi Key Wis Arena.

What happened at the end of the game deserves mention. Instead of skating directly off, the teams exchanged a brief, classy display of sportsmanship near centre ice–one of the finest moments this league will see this year. Well done, boys.

Eight North Stars registered two or more points as Thunder Bay climbed to within two points of first place. The offensive outburst allowed the Stars to become the first team to hit 200 goals.

Edison Weeks had two goals and two assists and Dimitri Trahiotis had a goal and three helpers. Tyler Jordan and EJ Paddington had two goals and an assist each, and Easton Glousher and Alex Remenda collected three helpers apiece. Christian Rapp had a goal and an assist and Garren Voisey had two apples. Connor Larrett, Sam Skillestad and Easton Mikus (28 goals on the year) also scored for Thunder Bay.

Defenceman Braden Swampy continued his fine offensive year with two snipes for 11 goals on the year. Swampy is second in goals among SIJHL d-men. Brayden MacKay and Jayden MacPherson-Nepinak also scored for the Islanders. 

Keenan Marks won his 18th game stopping 25 of 29. Kaden King stopped 47 of 60 in the lopsided loss.

The teams exchanged four goals each in the middle frame. Paddington notched his 27th unassisted in the third, and Jordan got his 26th at 17:22 to polish off the scoring.

Thunder Bay took two minors to Kenora’s six. The Islanders killed off all five Thunder Bay powerplays while the Stars killed off Kenora’s lone powerplay opportunity.