GALLERY: SIJHL Week 23 Review

Photos: Kerri-Ann Kanceruk

By Gary Moskalyk

Sioux Lookout 4 at Dryden 2 Sunday

Sioux Lookout struck for three quick goals in a 2:22 span early in the second period to take a crucial 4-2 win over the Ice Dogs in Dryden.

Connor Burke drew first blood, burying a rebound past Dryden goalie Ewan Soutar for his 26th on a Bomber powerplay. James Hooter answered for Dryden with his 8th at 9:48 on a key play by Sebastiano Biagi to keep it the Sioux Lookout zone.

The ice was barely dry from the first period flood as the Bombers flew out to a 4-1 lead. Trever Sanderson scored 26 seconds in, jamming in a loose puck that leaked past Soutar for number 10 on the year. Nolan Palmer’s point shot found the twine at 1:41, and Ty Kirk deflected one off a Dryden defender at 2:48. 

Jack Osmond in the Bomber net and Soutar for Dryden kept it scoreless from there until Ryland Maier’s powerplay backhander from a sharp angle beat Osmond at 9:17 to reduce the lead to two. Dryden successfully killed off a 5-on-3 late in the third, pulled Soutar for an extra man, but couldn’t rally.

Osmond raised his record to 19-6-2 in the win making 34 saves. Soutar dropped to 14-8-1 while saving 25 of 29.

Palmer and Connor Burke also drew assists for Sioux Lookout.

The Bombers went three points up on the North Stars for second place. Both teams have two games left. Dryden is four points up on Red Lake in the battle for fourth place.

Dryden took 37 of 55 penalty minutes, cresting 1,000 (1,008) on the year.

Kam River 8 at Wisconsin 0 Tuesday

Nickolas Fagnilli scored a hat trick and garnered an assist, Kaden Goodwin and Daxton Lang had four points each, and Ashton Sadauskas recorded a 31-save performance for his 4th shutout as the visiting Kam River Fighting Walleye defeated Wisconsin 8-0 at Rice Lake Arena. 

The win was Kam River’s 11th in a row. 

The Walleye scored four in the first, one in the second and three in last 10 minutes of the third to solidify their stranglehold on first place.

Goodwin struck at 10 seconds on a rebound for his 16th. Defenceman Brydon Bell took the circle route, taking the puck from his blue line position, skating behind the Lumberjack net, and working his way in front to put one past Riley Burnett at 2:27 for his 9th of the year. Riley Borody buried a centering pass from Jacob Sargent, and Fagnilli got his first of the game on a 2-on-1 at 16:07 for a 4-0 Walleye lead.

Liam Bell notched his 8th from the high slot at 8:33 of the second make it 5-0.

Jett Mintenko got his 22nd on a Kam River 3-on-1 at 10:14 of the third. Fagnilli completed the rout with a pair 59 seconds apart. His wrister eluded Burnett at 11:35, and he connected on Walleye 2-on-1 for his 22nd of the year.

Brydon Bell added an assist and Max Wright contributed a pair of assists. Sadauskas lowered his goals against to 2.44 and raised his save percentage to .909 for his league-leading 26th win. Burnett saw his record drop to 3-6-1. Kam River outshot Wisconsin 43 to 31.

Kam River took five of eight minor penalties. All of the goals were even strength.     

Sioux Lookout 1 at Fort Frances 3 Friday

Clark Scaddan scored two powerplay goals, Brandon Gustafson added an insurance marker in the third and made some big hits, and Lukas Toth stopped 27 of 28 as the Fort Frances Lakers defeated Sioux Lookout 3-1 before 431 fans at Ice For Kids Arena.

Scaddan scored the lone goal of the first, beating Matthew Spencer-Dahl with a blocker side rip at 8:35 for a 1-0 Laker lead.

Scaddan also scored the lone goal of the second frame. He cashed in a rebound with three seconds left in Laker powerplay for his 18th on the year. Brady Krentz collected the primary assists on both goals, upping his total to 23.

In the third stanza, Gustafson, who threw numerous clean thunderous checks throughout the game, also threw in his 4th goal of the year unassisted into the Bomber net at 3:58 for a 3-0 lead.

Former Laker Cobe Delaney replied just 18 seconds later, going over Toth’s shoulder from the blue paint for his 10th of the year. The Bombers took a late penalty with 2:13 left to hamper any plans of a late comeback. Spencer-Dahl was pulled for an extra attacker with 32 seconds left but Toth and the Lakers held firm for their 10th win of the year.

Toth improved to 4-8-2 on the year while Spencer-Dahl stopped 24 of 27 to fall to 9-4-2.

Sioux Lookout, in a desperate need for points to catch first-place Kam River, have four scheduled games left to make up six points. The loss also kept them in third place, one point behind the North Stars with a game in hand.

The Bombers took four minor penalties to Kenora’s two. The Lakers were 2-4 on the powerplay while the Bombers struck out in their two chances.

Sioux Lookout 6 at Fort Frances 2 Saturday

The Bombers skated out to a 4-1 first period lead and added two more in the second to defeat Fort Frances 6-2. Owen Riffel scored a pair to retake the goal-scoring lead with 32 and Sioux Lookout slid into second place keeping a slim mathematical shot at first place intact with the win. Jonah Smith and Blake Burke added a goal and assist each to propel the Bomber attack.

For Frances’ Magnus Pearson opened scoring and ended it as well, giving the Lakers a brief 1-0 lead on the powerplay at 2:16 of the first. 

Tait Howell replied for the Bombers 1:30 later. His shot from the point through traffic tied it at 1-1. Burke got his 19th from the blue paint at 6:58, Riffel rifled in his 31st at 8:39, and Dale Horseman got his 2nd of the campaign at 17:55 from the slot for a three-goal Bomber lead.

Riffel scored at 1:19 of the second, and Jonah Smith got his 16th on a Bomber powerplay for a 6-1 lead, chasing Toth from the crease. Toth stopped 28 of 34.

Pearson got his 10th at 9:04 of the third to round out the scoring.

Matthew Ofukany picked up his 5th win in five starts making 41 saves. Toth dropped to 4-9-2. Jack Orchard was perfect in relief, stopping all 20 Sioux Lookout shots in his 26 minutes between the pipes.

The Bombers were 1-4 on the powerplay while the Lakers were 1-3. Just eight minors were called, four per team. A total of 482 fans watched the action.

Kam River 10 at Kenora 2 Saturday

Sam Sargent struck for three goals and Kam River fired 75 shots and scored five goals in the third period to dismantle the Islanders 10-2 in Kenora. Ashton Sadauskas won his 27th against three losses making 18 saves. The Walleye are a win away from clinching first place. If they do, their first round opponent will be the Islanders.

Kam River held a modest 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. Jett Mintenko stole the puck and fed Carter Nailen for 1-0 edge 1:03 into the game. Kaden Goodwin’s went through Matt Stephens’ legs at 5:22 for his 17th at 5:22.

Sargent got his first of the game at 3:40 of the second from a sharp angle. John Paul Scaringi, back from a January injury, got his 7th of the year unassisted at 5:28 to pull Kenora to within two. Ryan Doucette registered the first of his two at 8:20, sniping over the shoulder of Stephens for his 18th. Kam River went up 5-1 on Max Wright’s 8th tally at 19:16.

Doucette scored on the powerplay, Ryan Daponte got his 9th on an unassisted shorthanded marker, Goodwin got his 18th on a powerplay, and Sargent polished off his hat trick with his 5th and 6th to give the Walleye a 10-1 lead. Nolan Rawn closed out the scoring with his 2nd of the year with time running out to account for the final score.

Wright added two helpers for a three-point night, Goodwin also had an assist for three points, Daponte had an assist in addition to his goal and Mintenko had two helpers to buoy the Walleye assault. 

Kam River was 3-5 on the powerplay, while Islanders were 0-2. Kenora took six of the 10 minor penalties whistled down. The game was played before 100 fans in a brisk one hour and 59 minutes.

Kam River 10 at Kenora 2 Sunday

Kaden Goodwin had two goals and an assist, Jett Mintenko had one goal and two assists and Carter Nailen chipped in four helpers as the Fighting Walleye clinched first place with another dominant 10-2 win over Kenora.

Kam River led 4-1 after one, powering in five unanswered in the second frame for a 9-1 lead. The teams traded lone tallies in the third.

Easton Debray, Goodwin twice, and Isiah Kinnavanthong got Kam River off to a 4-0 start. Hunter McLean notched his first at 18:38 for Kenora. 

In the second period Mintenko, Matteo Salvatore, Nickolas Fagnilli, Ryan Daponte and Brydon Bell on the powerplay all scored by 10:45 for the Walleye for a 9-1 lead.

Kenora’s Lazarus Constant got his second of the year at 4:44 of third, and Edwin Liang notched his 7th at 14:45 for Kam River to close out the scoring.

Kenora played the game with 14 skaters.

Other multi-point scorers for Kam included Daponte and Debray with two points, and Liam Bell with a pair of assists.

Travis VanderZwaag stopped 18 of 20 for his 10th win. Kaden King stopped 50 of 60 in the defeat. 

The Walleye were 1-3 with the man advantage, shutting down one powerplay chance for Kenora. The Islanders took 18 of 32 penalty minutes. 

The two teams will square off in round one of the SIJHL quarterfinals.

Wisconsin 2 at Red Lake 8 Saturday

The Miners struck gold with six goals in the third period to defeat visiting Wisconsin 8-2 at Cochenour Arena. Aiden Corbett led the Red Lake assault with three goals, giving him 30 on the season. Noah Davis saved 26 of 28 to up his record to 11-4-0.

The Miners held period leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before breaking it open. Preston Tauter opened the scoring at 12:40 of the first on a second try from the slot. It was Tauter’s 11th. Both Carter Deschamps and Ethan Cerone collected their 11th assists on the goal.

Wisconsin’s Dillon Phillips beat Davis on a 2-on-1, keeping the puck and throwing in a dangle for his 24th of the year. Corbett tipped Luke DeCorby’s shot at 5:46 to regain the Miners’ lead.

The Miners poured in the first three of the third to put the game in lockdown mode. Corbett got his second of the game 33 seconds into the frame, ripping a top shelfer past William Forrester for a 3-1 lead. Matthew MacPherson converted Noah Tenney’s great feed for a three-goal edge at 4:57 and Corbett’s deke on the far boards 38 seconds later and the shot that followed made it 5-1 for Red Lake. Nolan Fowler answered midway way through the frame for his 22nd. Phillips collected his 39th assist on the play. 

Gabe Tanton scored shorthanded at 14:48, and Bradyn Rowsell on the powerplay and Landon van Engelen scored eight seconds apart with less than a minute to go to close out the scoring.

The majority of the 68 penalty minutes assessed were called in the third. Fifteen separate infractions were called. Wisconsin took 40 penalty minutes to Red Lake’s 28.

Tauter and Tanton had two points, DeCorby added three assists, and Tenney and Cerone chipped in with two helpers each for Red Lake. Fowler and Phillips picked up two points each for Wisconsin.

Forrester faced 57 shots in the Lumberjacks’ cage, and saw his record drop to 5-11-2. 

The Miners were 2-7 with the man advantage while killing off all four Wisconsin powerplays.  

Red Lake is six points back of Dryden for 4th place with four games left.

Wisconsin 1 at Red Lake 7 Sunday

Ryker Watt notched a hat trick and the Miners outshot Wisconsin 52-18 to defeat the Lumberjacks 7-1. The Miners have three regular season games left to make up four points on Dryden in the battle for 4th place.

Noah Davis shunted aside 17 shots for his 12th win.

Red Lake held period leads of 2-0, 6-0 and were up 7-0 until Kaden Postal broke Davis’ shutout bid with 36 seconds left in the game on a Wisconsin powerplay.

Watt converted Noah Tenney’s feed midway through the first for a 1-0 lead. Carter Deschamps connected from close range on William Forrester for a 2-0 edge.

In the second period, Watt intercepted an errant Wisconsin pass and scored unassisted at 3:32, and his second swipe at a loose puck netted his third goal of the game and 16th of the year on a Red Lake powerplay at 5:11 for a 4-0 lead. Fox McColl made it 5-0 2:04 later. Justin Gelderland connected on his 4th at 16:55.

Bradyn Rowsell scored at 9:20 of the third for Red Lake. Postal’s 12th with time winding down deprived Davis of his shutout.

Gelderland and Rowsell added assists and Noah Tenney and Luke DeCorby and two assists each for Red Lake.

Wisconsin took 38 of 64 penalty minutes. Both teams scored once with the extra man. Wisconsin had six opportunities while Red Lake had eight.

Forrester saw his record drop to 5-12-2 in the loss.