By Gary Moskalyk
3 Games in the books with 6 to go as we wrap up February in the SIJHL
Sioux Lookout 7 Red Lake 3, Mon Feb 20
The visiting Bombers broke open a 1-1 game with six second period goals to defeat the reeling Red Lake Miners 7-3. The Miners are winless in seven. Nathan Dann had two goals and an assist and Tait Howell had a goal and two assists to lead the charge. Ethan Penner stopped 37 of 40 for his even his record at 3-3-0.
Jacob Lamoureux’ two goals for Red Lake gives him 29 on the season.
Lamoureux open the scoring at 18:09 of the first on Ben Norlock’s first assist of the season. Ty Bahm’s 16th tied it up 51 seconds later on Calum McGill’s first helper of the year. That was the first of four Sioux Lookout powerplay goals.
The Bombers fired up the engines with three goals in a minute and four seconds beginning with Dann’s 10th powerplay effort at 10:19 of the second period. Connor Burke’s 12th, a powerplay goal 20 seconds later, and Blake Burke’s 18th at 11:23, complete the first barrage. Tait Howell and Kalin Roy made it 6-1. Kyle Schechtel’s 10th 12 seconds later broke the Bombers streak, but Dann’s second at 19:29 made it 7-2 before period’s end.
Lamoureux scored his 29th on a Red Lake powerplay at 15:30 of the third to round out the scoring.
Sioux Lookout was 4-5 on the powerplay while Red Lake was 1-3. Roy and Bahm added assists and McGill had two helpers for Sioux Lookout. Anthony Pileggi had two assists for Red Lake.
Trent Boryszczuk took the loss for Red Lake stopping 17 of 21. Jack Osmond came on in the second half and finished with 18 stops.
Thunder Bay 6 @ Dryden 5, Mon Feb 20
Dryden fired 56 shots and scored two goals in the first minute, but the Thunder Bay North Stars outscored them 6-3 the rest of the way and hung on for a 6-5 victory in Dryden. The loss kept Dryden four points back of Kam River for first place and kept Thunder Bay two points up on Sioux Lookout in the third place battle.
Defenceman Garren Voisey had a two-goal four-point night and the Stars had three goals on special teams. Keenan Marks stopped 51 for his 11th win of the year.
Landen Stromme had a goal and three assists to lead the Ice Dogs.
McLaren Paulsen had Dryden up 1-0 38 seconds in, and Hooton had his 24th 21 seconds later for the 2-0 spread. Edison Weeks notched his 21st on a North Stars powerplay and Nikolas Campbell nabbed his 12th at 12:02 of the first to tie the score.
Voisey scored his second of the season at 59 seconds of the second with Thunder Bay’s second powerplay goal to put the Stars up 3-2. Tyler Earl tied it for Dryden.
Voisey’s shorthanded effort re-established a one-goal lead for Thunder Bay.
EJ Paddington’s 12th and Dimitri Trahiotis’ 13th had the Stars up 6-3 by 7:41 of third. Goals by Paulsen and Stromme’s 22nd on a Dryden powerplay with five minutes to go led to a dramatic finish.
Marks was able to weather the storm, surviving 21 third period shots (and 24 in the second) to pull out the win.
Weeks and Campbell had three-point nights for Thunder Bay. Trahiotis added an assist and RJ Dickie had two helpers for Thunder Bay.
Paulsen added a helper to his two goals. Hooton had a two-point night for Dryden.
Eric Clark stopped 27 and took the loss for the Ice Dogs.
Wisconsin 5 @ Fort Frances 9, Mon Feb 20
Blake Ferris and Trever Sanderson had two goals each to lead the Fort Frances Lakers to their biggest offensive game of the year as the hometown squad defeated the Wisconsin Lumberjacks 9-5.
The Lakers scored four in the first, four in the second, and the only goal of the third to secure their 8th win of the year.
A seven-goal first had the Lakers up 4-3 after 20. Connor O’Brien, Reid Zurkan and Ferris gave the Lakers an early 3-0 lead. Caden Sutter interrupted the party at 7:54 with his 7th for Wisconsin, but Sanderson re-established a three-goal lead with his 4th. Ryder McMillen’s 26th and Connor McClure’s 12th at 16:24 had the Lumberjacks down by one.
By 11:03 of the second period the game was tied 5-5. Ferris opened the scoring for Fort, but Zach Carson and Drake Flynn replied for the ‘Jacks.
Sanderson, Brady Wicklund on the powerplay, and Kevin Bond gave the Lakers an 8-5 lead. Ryker Watt struck for his 19th midway through the third to account for the scoring.
Kevin Bond had a goal and two assists, and Wicklund, Watt, and Zurkan added assists. Brady Krentz and two helpers for the Lakers.
McMillen added three assists to his goal. He has 64 points to lead the league.
Brenden Stroble stopped 42 shots for the win. Emmett Doherty saved 19 of 26 to take the loss for Wisconsin. William Forester came on in relief and was 17-19.
The Lakers took 27 of 38 penalty minutes handed out.
FRI FEB 24
Kam River 33-8-1 .798 1st, GF 180 GA 113 +67, PIMs 914, PP 17.9 PK 86.8 @ Wisconsin 14-26-6 .386 6th, GF 168 GA 192 -24, PP 17.8 PK 78.9
Kam River is ranked 14th in the CJHL rankings this week.
The Walleye have a 6-2-0 record against Wisconsin. This game will be their final regular season meeting.
The pesky Ice Dogs are four points back in the battle for first place. Kam River has three games in hand, however.
Jeremy Dunmore’s current 14-game points streak is the best in the league this year. Those 24 points give him 48 on the year, good for 3rd place in the scoring race. Dunmore’s 1.33 points-per-game trails only Ryder McMillen’s 1.68 PPG pace.
Defenceman Jack Cook is having a great year, compiling 43 points on 18 goals and 25 assists.
Ethan Lang (13-29-42) and Max Leduc (14-20-34), Ryan Doucette (10-20-30), Euan Morrison (9-21-30) and Anthony Oviedo (12-12-24) round out the league’s top offense of 4.29 goals per game.
In net, Eric Vanska brings a 23-5-1 record with a 2.68 GAA and .922 SV% to the pipes. He’s ably supported by Jack Orchard’s 9-3-0/2.31/.914.
Wisconsin snapped Kam River’s nine-game winning streak with a 3-1 victory on Sunday.
This is Kam River’s only game this week.
Wisconsin took a 3-1 decision at Norwest Arena on Sunday, before dropping a 9-5 decision to Fort Frances on Monday.
The Lumberjacks are 2-5-1 in head-to-head meetings with Kam River.
Ryder McMillen is leading the league in points with 64 in 38 games. Defenceman Zach Carson is second with 52 points. Both are dynamite on the powerplay. McMillen has 18 points and Carson has 17 points with the man advantage. Dillon Phillips (16-24-40), Sal Poggiali (16-23-39), defenceman Dylan Jouppi (2-26-28) and Conner McClure (12-13-25) are the other main threats.
Cooper McClure joined the team January 18th and has 11 points in 12 games since.
Kyler Lowden has his GAA comfortably below 4.00 at 3.83. His 1,723 minutes in net is fourth among league goaltenders. William Forrester and Emmett Doherty share back-up duties.
FRI/SAT FEB 24/25
Thunder Bay 23-17-4 .568 3rd, GF 146 GA 133 + 13, PIMs 851, PP 16.7, PK 85.7 @ Red Lake 18-19-4 .488 5th, GF 143 GA 156 -13, PIMs 750, PP 13.6 PK 81.7
Thunder Bay is 5-0-0 against Red Lake.
These are crucial games. The Miners are nine points back with two games in hand. There are four games left between the two.
Recent success on the powerplay, Nikolas Campbell, and a three-game winning streak has Thunder Bay in third place. The team has also gotten a little healthier. The Stars have fully caught up in the game played department with 44. The Bombers are two points behind with three games in hand.
Campbell has 22 points with 12 goals in 18 games.
Edison Weeks has been the main man all season, leading the team with 21 goals and 26 assists for 47 points–good for 4th in league scoring. Colby Feist has 27 points in 27 games and a gnarly 75 penalty minutes. Dylan Winsor has 26 points in 32 games, and defenceman Matthew Halushak edges into the top-40 with nine goals and 16 helpers.
Dimitri Trahiotis has been clutch with four game-winning goals.
The North Stars have two goalies over 1,000 minutes–the only team with that distinction. Conner Lemieux is 12-9-3/2.76/.929 in 24 games. Keenan Marks is 11-4-1/2.65/.923 in 19 games.
Red Lake hasn’t won in eight games and has dipped below .500.
The Miners are 0-3-2 against Thunder Bay with four meetings left.
Jacob Lamoureux’ 29 goals lead the SIJHL, three ahead of Ryder McMillen. Colton Crysler has 20 goals and 39 points in his 39 games. Defenceman Dayvan Bull is third in team scoring with 26 points. Nathan Dann has 11 goals and 20 points in 22 games.
Red Lake’s powerplay has hit a dry spell. It’s dipped to 13.6%. They’re penalty kill has also dropped to league average at 81.7%.
Jack Osmond is 14-11-2 in net, with a 3.15 GAA and .925 SV%. Trent Boryszczuk is 2-4-1 record with .918 SV% in seven games.
FRI/SAT FEB 24/25
Sioux Lookout 23-16-2 .585 4th, GF 160 GA 126 +34, PIMs 888, PP 18.1, PK 81.2 @ Fort Frances 8-34-0 .190 7th, GF 112 GA 254 -142, PIMs 724, PP 18.3% PK 67.2
The Bombers slid to 4th place in week 20, albeit with a better winning percentage than Thunder Bay (.585 to .568). The Bombers are 3-1-0 against Fort Frances this year with five meetings to go.
Ty Bahm has 46 points on the campaign with 16 goals and 30 helpers. His 12 powerplay assists ties him with three other players for first in that department. Owen Riffel and Blake Burke have 36 points each. Lucas Trimarchi (13-18-31), Connor Burke (12-18-30) and Tegan Neuman (9-21-30) have hit the 30-point plateau.
Jake Manners has 1,852 minutes in net, second in league. His 2.49 GAA and .929 SV% (tied with Thunder Bay’s Conner Lemieux) leads all qualified goalies.
The Bombers 21.7 penalty minutes per game essentially ties them with Kam River for the second-most in the league. The Bombers are 4-5-1 in their last 10.
There’s no doubt that the Lakers are playing better hockey these days. They’re 3-7-0 in their last 10, including a pair of one-goal losses to Thunder Bay at home.
Fort Frances is 1-3-0 against Sioux Lookout.
Ryker Watt is knocking on 20 goals (19-17-36, 106 PIMs). Kevin Bond (15-12-27), Brady Krentz (9-18-27) and Clark Scaddan (9-15-24) are in the top-40. Trever Sanderson has 23 points.
In net, Brenden Stroble has 1,420 minutes to Ryan Tanner’s 897. Stroble has five of the team’s wins. Both face a good 50 shots a game.
The team has the second-best powerplay at 18.3%. They’re penalty kill is 67.2%, well below the league average of 81.9%.
SAT FEB 25
Dryden 31-13-1 .700 2nd, GF 192 GA 127 +65, PIMs 1,330, PP 24.0 PK 86.5 @ Wisconsin
Dryden was an honourable mention in the CJHL rankings this week.
The Ice Dogs are 6-2-0 against Wisconsin. This one-off will conclude their regular season series.
Eight goals will have the Ice Dogs hitting 200 for the season. The league’s best powerplay is humming along at 24.0%, with 53 tallies.
Dryden has 12 shorthanded goals. Wisconsin, in second place, has eight. Of course, Dryden has been shorthanded the most with 297 infractions putting them a man down. Their penalty kill is a robust 86.5%.
There are eight 20-goal scorers in the SIJHL so far. Dryden has three of them. James Hooton has 24, Landen Stromme has 22, and Brady Frattinger has 20. Bryce Benfield has 40 points (17 goals).
Dryden has five of the 10 top point producers in the 21-30 tier of scoring. Max Roby (17-14-31, in 29 games), Ryland Maier (12-19-31), Ben Hackl (10-20-30), Jordan Pfoh (14-15-29) and d-man Easton Debray (9-20-29) comprise the next wave.
Eric Clark’s 20 wins has him second in the league. He leads the league in minutes with 1,898. Clark brings a solid 2.81 GAA and .912 SV% to the crease. Zac MacDonald has 10-3-0 record with a 2.63 GAA in 799 minutes.