By Tanner Schafer
Spooner, WI – The Wisconsin Lumberjacks put together a complete game, outshooting the Sioux Lookout Bombers in all 3 periods winning 5-2 on Wednesday Night.
The Bombers were trying to take a 3-1 series lead and came out of the gates early scoring the game’s first goal. Just before the halfway point of the period, defenseman Calum McGill found the back of the net assisted by Graeme Patrick and Connor Burke. The Lumberjacks would answer back 4 minutes later when Timothy LeRoy scored his 1st of the playoffs assisted by Kaden Postal and Dylan Olsen. 50 seconds after that with just over 5 minutes remaining Dillon Phillips scored his 3rd of the series giving the Lumberjacks a 2-1 lead heading into the intermission.
The 2nd period was a hard fought back and forth affair that saw the Lumberjacks come out ahead. 3:29 into the frame Connor McClure scored the eventual game winner assisted by Kaden Postal giving the Jacks a 3-1 lead. The teams would battle for another 12 minutes before the next goal was scored, coming off the stick of Wisconsin captain Salvatore Poggiali. With less than 2 minutes left the Bombers would try and put themselves into position to make a 3rd period comeback getting a goal from Alex Lucas his 1st of the postseason.
The 3rd period was utter domination from the Lumberjacks while the frustrations of playoff hockey finally broke through. Wisconsin outshot Sioux Lookout 18-2 in the period and added an unassisted insurance goal from Drake Flynn just before the 15:00 mark. The game had been relatively clean with only 4 minor penalties assessed in the first 2 periods, that changed with 12 minutes left. LeRoy made contact with Sioux Lookout goalie Jake Manners and the Bombers took exception. The result, a scrum that saw 6 players ejected for fighting. LeRoy, Olsen, and Caden Sutter from the Lumberjacks; as well as Mitchell Daines, Nolan Palmer, and Tyler Decoff from the Bombers. The teams weren’t down there, around 5 minutes later another scrum resulted after Tyler Tykolis-Casey punched Lumberjacks and SIJHL leading scorer Ryder McMillen away from the play. Simon Davidson came to his teammates aid and he as well as Tykolis-Casey were shown the door. The Lumberjacks controlled play for the rest of the period and skated to a comfortable 5-2 win.
Kyler Lowden stopped 24 of 26 shots and got the win. Jake Manners made 46 saves in a losing effort. Now the series will take an interesting turn as the team’s head back up to Sioux Lookout for game 5 on Friday at the Hanger. The Lumberjacks will try to be the 1st road team to win a game in the series and both teams will be waiting to hear about potential suspensions and what players will be available heading into the playoff bout. Face-Off is at 7:30 CST on SIJHLTV.