By Gary Moskalyk
Red Lake 6 @ Sioux Lookout 3, Tue Feb 28
Short-staffed Red Lake skated out to a 4-0 lead and Trent Boryszczuk stopped 42 shots as the Miners defeated the Sioux Lookout Bombers 6-3 at the Hangar.
Despite the loss the Bombers jumped into third place as the SIJHL converted three postponed Red Lake games into forfeits. Two of them involved the Bombers.
Dobie Unrau scored two to lead the way for Red Lake.
Gabe Tanton got the Miners on the board early, scoring on a 2-on-0 at 1:22 of the first. It was Tanton’s first of the season. Kyle Schechtel’s tip on the powerplay gave the Miners a 2-0 edge through one.
Ty Woodard’s point shot, and Unrau’s first of the game from the high slot had the Miners up by four by 5:36 of the second.
Mitchell Daines squeaked one past Boryszczuk at 17:06 of the second to narrow the gap to 4-1.
The teams traded two goals each in the third. Luke Decorby’s 10th just 15 seconds in put the Miners up 5-1. Nathan Dann scored four minutes later for the Bombers. Unrau’s goalmouth tip re-established the four-goal lead and Connor Burke closed out the scoring on a feed from Blake Burke.
Ethan Penner stopped 26 of 32 in the Bomber net.
Only nine minor penalties were called. Attendance was 326.
Fort Frances 4 @ Kam River 7, Wed Mar 1
Kam River scored the last three goals of the game to defeat Fort Frances 7-4 before 350 patrons at Norwest Arena.
Daxton Lang had a pair of goals and Eric Vanska had 23 saves for his 25th win.
Kam River fired 65 shots at Brenden Stroble, 20 or more per period.
Trever Sanderson scored his 7th of the season at 7:43 of the first for a 1-0 Fort Frances lead. Brydon Bell’s top corner snipe and Ethan Lang’s powerplay buzzer beater with five seconds left in the first gave Kam a 2-1 edge.
Ryker Watt tied it in the second with his 20th. Kennan Reyelts went over Stroble’s shoulder, and a wide-open Daxton Lang goal gave the Walleye a two-goal edge. Watt’s backhander drew the Lakers to within one at the end of two.
Sanderson notched his second at 43 seconds to tie the game. Daxton Lang’s backhander at 1:51 proved to be the game-winner. Riley Borody’s deflection at 15:33 and Anthony Oviedo’s empty net shorty polished off the scoring.
Bell and Oviedo had goals and assists, and Josh Pufahl and Max Leduc had two helpers each for Kam. Jeremy Dunmore had an assist to keep his points streak alive at 15 games.
Trever Sanderson and Ryker Watt did the damage for Fort. Both had two goals and an assist each. Watt’s two goals gives him 21 on the season.
Thunder Bay 2 @ Dryden 5, Wed Mar 1
The Ice Dogs had three goals on the powerplay, scored their 14th shorthanded goal and added an empty netter to defeat Thunder Bay 5-2 in Dryden. Their five goals gave them 200 on the season.
Ryland Maier scored midway through the first, beating Keenan Marks from in close for his 13th.
Colby Feist converted a Nikolas Campbell feed to tie it up in the second. McLaren Paulsen’s shorthanded blocker side shot put the Ice Dogs ahead 2-1.
Jamie Fuchs tied the game at two-all at 0:36 of the third for the North Stars, but powerplay strikes by Brady Frattinger and Ben Hackl, and Bryce Benfield’s empty net tally with 2:15 left, enabled the Dogs to keep pace with the Walleye in the battle for first overall. Kam River has an eight-point cushion with a game in hand with under 10 games left.
Zac MacDonald saved 29 for his 11th win against three losses.
Dryden took eight consecutive minor penalties spanning three periods, but Thunder Bay was unable to cash in against the league’s top penalty kill. And the Ice Dogs powerplay was 3-3 in its chances.
Ben Hackl had a goal and two helpers to lead the Dryden charge. Paulsen added an assist. Landen Stromme added two assists for Dryden.
Marks stopped 29 of 33 for his 6th loss.
Attendance was 267.
Wisconsin 2 @ Sioux Lookout 4, Thu Mar 2
The Wisconsin Lumberjacks took an uncharacteristic 49 penalty minutes, and the Sioux Lookout Bombers made them pay with three powerplay goals for a 4-2 win. The Bomber win gives them a five-point lead over Thunder Bay for third place.
Jake Manners stopped 30 for his 20th win of the campaign. Manners leads the SIJHL with a 2.41 GAA and .930 SV%.
Axel Wyatt’s shot from the point gave Wisconsin a 1-0 first period lead.
Connor Burke’s backhander from close range tied it up. Cooper McClure connected from the slot to give Wisconsin a 2-1 lead. Sioux Lookout registered two on the powerplay to go ahead. Blake Burke scored on a rebound to knot the score. Lucas Trimarchi dinged one off the crossbar and moments later sent one through Kyler Lowden’s legs for the game-winner.
Ty Bahm’s 18th at 10:34 of the third rounded out the scoring.
Wisconsin took the final six infractions of the game. Zach Carson took a five-minute major at 15:34 to minimize any chance of a Lumberjacks comeback.
Lowden turned aside 41 of 45 in the loss.
Burke, Trimarchi and Bahm all added assists and Tait Howell dished out two helpers for the Bombers.
Sioux Lookout was tagged for 18 penalty minutes and four minor penalties.
The game attracted 251 fans to the Hangar.
Wisconsin 0 @ Dryden 4, Fri Mar 3: Wisconsin 3 @ Dryden 8, Sat Mar 4
Brady Frattinger scored two and assisted on one and Zac MacDonald recorded his second shutout as the Dryden defeated Wisconsin 4-0. Frattinger has been on fire since mid-December. The Ice Dogs captain has 23 goals on the year, and 18 assists.
Ben Hackl scored from in close at 2:10 to open the scoring. Frattinger connected on a 2-on-1 with assists from Bryce Benfield and Landen Stromme.
Frattinger’s powerplay marker at 2:17 of the second came on a Hackl rebound. McKale Paul beat Kyler Lowden from the top left circle late in the second to close out the scoring.
MacDonald made 27 saves, lowered his GAA to 2.67, and upped his save percentage to .899.
Wisconsin was held scoreless in eight powerplay chances. Dryden was 1-3.
Hackl had two points in the contest.
In Saturday’s game Dryden scored six of the game’s last seven goals and gained two points in the race for first place with a convincing 8-3 win over visiting Wisconsin.
James Hooton led the Ice Dog attack with two powerplay goals and an assist, Bryce Benfield had a goal, and three helpers and Zac MacDonald won his 13th against three losses.
Hooton opened the scoring with his 25th at 5:15 of the first. Connor McClure tied it on a Lumberjacks powerplay at 14:35. Kaden Bandura’s 7th put the Ice Dogs up by one after 20.
Kaden Postal sniped his first of the season from the slot at 29 seconds of the second frame to tie the game for Wisconsin.
Frattinger’s unassisted shorthanded marker at 3:49–Dryden’s 15th shorty as a team and Frattinger’s league-leading 4th–put the Ice Dogs up 3-2. Bryce Benfield’s 19th on a Dryden powerplay, and Hooton’s 26th with a Dryden man advantage, upped the margin to three.
Ryland Maier’s 14th at 6:59 of the third gave Dryden a four-goal lead. The Lumberjacks pulled Lowden and the entire team left the bench for several minutes. Eventually they returned, Lowden manned the pipes, and Wisconsin was assessed a two-minute minor for delay of game.
Order restored, Caden Sutter pulled the Jacks to within three, but Jordan Pfoh and Ondrej Bardos poured in two more even-strength goals to finish off the game.
Maier and Pfoh added assists and Ben Hackl had two helpers for Dryden.
Kaden Postal had an assist to go with his goal, and points leader Ryder McMillen added two assists to up his season total to 41 for Wisconsin.
Dryden’s special teams were at it again, going 3-9 on the powerplay, while killing off nine of 10 shorthanded situations.
The game drew a great crowd of 705 fans.
Kam River 2 @ Sioux Lookout 0, Fri Mar 4: Kam River 1 @ Sioux Lookout 4, Sat Mar 4
Eric Vanska made 34 stops as the Fighting Walleye collected a 2-0 road win in Sioux Lookout. Jake Manners made 45 saves for Sioux Lookout, as the SIJHL showcased two of its top netminders. Vanska collected win 26 and recorded his fifth shutout–and registered his first assist.
Ethan Lang collected a goal and assist to lead the offence.
The Walleye scored both of their goals on special teams. Kobe Braham powerplay snipe from the high slot at 12:55 of the first opened the scoring. Lang got his 31st assist on the play with Vanska hitting the score sheet as well.
Lang scored shorthanded at 7:18 of the third.
Kam River was 1-3 with the man advantage while the Bombers were 0-6.
Attendance was 346.
In Saturday’s game, Sioux Lookout scored four unanswered third period goals to defeat the Fighting Walleye 4-1 before a Hangar crowd of 361.
After a scoreless first Riley Borody scored deep into the second period with a glove-side snipe at 15:55 for a 1-0 Kam River lead.
Cue the Sioux Lookout onslaught in the third.
Connor Burke appeared to have scored his 16th at 5:39 (Logan James was given credit) to start the Bomber engines roaring. Lucas Trimarchi scored a powerplay goal from the slot at 7:47. Ty Bahm scored his 19th on a 2-on-1 with Nathan Dann, joining the 50-point club in the process. He then added his 20th from inside in his own blue-line into an empty net to put a stamp on a big win.
Sioux Lookout opened up a five-point spread on Thunder Bay for third place.
Jake Manners improved his record to 21-12-3. Jack Orchard saw his fine record slip to 9-4-0.
Nolan Palmer and Dann had two assists each for the Bombers.
Dryden closed to within six points of the Walleye with their sweep of Wisconsin. The Walleye have seven games left to the Ice Dogs five.
Fort Frances 5 @ Thunder Bay 6, Sat Mar 4: Fort Frances 2 @ Thunder Bay 9, Sun Mar 5
The Lakers came close to snatching a win while being outshot 56-20, but Jamie Fuchs scored on a goal-mouth backhander at 3:11 of overtime to give the hometown North Stars a 6-5 win. The teams will compete in their second 1:30 start on Sunday.
RJ Dickie had a two goals and an assist for Thunder Bay. Colby Feist had a goal and two helpers, and Fuchs added an assist.
Ryker Watt had two goals and an assist for the Lakers, who secured their first point of the year in extra time. Brady Wicklund had two apples for Fort.
Conner Lemieux secured his 13th win of the year, coming on at 6:49 of the second period in relief of Stars starter Keenan Marks. Marks stopped nine of 12 and Lemieux six of eight.
Meanwhile, Brendan Stroble kept the Lakers in the game with 50 saves. Thunder Bay led 3-2 after one, the game was tied 4-4 after two, and Dickie and Darnell Kempf traded third period goals to send it to extra time.
Dickie scored his 8th on a feed from Feist and Nikolas Campbell at 2:28 of the third on a North Stars powerplay. Kempf’s point shot through a Lakehead Expressway traffic jam in front of Lemieux, somehow found some open space, and sailed uncontested into the top shelf with 3:46 left.
Edison Weeks became the third player in the SIJHL to reach the 50-point plateau with his 23rd in the first. Easton Glousher had an unassisted shorthanded goal late in the first.
Dylan Wedward went end to end in the first period for his 13th and Trever Sanderson scored on a Laker 5-on-3 in the second.
Thunder Bay with 1-3 with the man advantage while Fort Frances scored twice in five chances.
Fort’s Kevin Bond and Thunder Bay’s Dylan Winsor squared off in the second.
Thunder Bay took 29 of 40 penalty minutes.
In Sunday’s game Nikolas Campbell and Jamie Fuchs had three goals each and Colby Feist had a goal and four points as the North Stars thumped the Lakers 9-2.
Fuchs opened the scoring at 14 seconds and Campbell followed at 3:30 for an early 2-0 lead. Campbell added his 15th on a Stars powerplay. Brady Krentz made it 3-1, but Fuchs and Feist scored 13 seconds apart for an emphatic 5-1 lead after one.
Thunder Bay fired 26 shots at Brendan Stroble in the first frame, part of a 63-shot barrage.
Mason Wesley notched his first of the season at 2:45 of the second with some nifty stickhandling. RJ Dickie got his 9th at 17:38.
Clark Scaddan scored unassisted for Fort at 2:36 of the third. Campbell would score his 16th at 7:37 for his second hat trick of the season, and Fuchs nailed his hatty at 13:46 to close out the scoring.
Fuchs and Campbell both have 30 points in 23 games this season.
Keenan Marks rebounded from Saturday’s start with a 30-save performance. He upped his record to 13-6-1 on the year.
Sam Skillestad had three assists, and Dimitri Trahiotis and Edison Weeks had two helpers each.
Thunder Bay was 2-5 with the man advantage. Fort Frances connected once in five tries. Both teams took five minor penalties.
The Stars are three points behind third place Sioux Lookout and nine points clear of fifth-place Red Lake. All three teams have five games left.
Kam River 3 @ Red Lake 4 (OT), Sun Mar 5
Dobie Unrau scored from the high slot as the Red Lake Miners defeated Kam River 4-3 in overtime.
Jack Cook’s one-timer on a Walleye powerplay, and Daxton Lang’s snipe on a 2-on-1 with a minute to go gave Kam River a 2-0 after a period.
Red Lake scored three in the second to take the lead.
Luke Decorby’s 11th at 10 seconds narrowed the score. Jacob Lamoureux’ 33rd tied it, and Matthew MacPherson’s backhander at 14:53 gave the Miners a 3-2 lead.
Kam River’s Kyle Lamoureux went blocker side on Trent Boryszczuk at 3:30 of the third to send the game into overtime.
Unrau’s 7th with 1:13 left in OT sealed the deal for the Miners. Eric Vanska dropped to 26-6-1 while turning aside 31 of 35. Boryszczuk even his record at 4-4-1 with his 43 saves.
Unrau and Jacob Lamoureux had a goal and two assists each for Red Lake. Jeremy Dunmore and Max Leduc had two assists each for Kam River.
Vanska stymied Kaelen Veldman on a second period penalty shot.
The Walleye were 2-4 on the powerplay while Red Lake was shut down in five chances.