By Gary Moskalyk
Fort Frances 3 @ Dryden 5, Wed Mar 8
Dryden overcame a 2-0 first period deficit to defeat Fort Frances 5-3 before 237 fans at Dryden Memorial Arena.
Clark Scaddan and Ryker Watt scored 52 seconds apart early in the first for the 2-0 Lakers edge. Dryden would score the next five. Only one was scored in the second.
Brady Frattinger notched his 25th at 14:24 of the middle frame with help from Max Rath.
Bryce Benfield, Ben Hackl (unassisted and shorthanded), McLaren Paulsen on a Dryden powerplay and Frattinger again (his 26th) had the Dogs up 5-2 with 3:23 left.
Kevin Bond’s 16th for the Lakers at 17:13 finished off the scoring. The Lakers were able to ice an extra attacker in the final 55 seconds but to no avail.
The win leaves the Ice Dogs five points back of Kam River for first place with four games left. Kam River has six games left–two against Thunder Bay and the final two against Dryden with Red Lake and Fort Frances in the mix.
Frattinger now has 45 points. After starting the season with seven points in four games, he registered just seven in his next 18. He’s been hot ever since.
Zac MacDonald made 25 stops for his 14th win. Brenden Stroble shut out Dryden in the first period while facing 23 shots. The Ice Dogs peppered the Lakers with 36 more over the final two frames. Frattinger added an assist for a three-point evening and Paulsen also added an assist.
Fort took 32 of the 43 penalty minutes assessed by Jon Kocis and Whitney Van Horne.
Red Lake 1 @ Kam River 8, Thu Mar 9
Kam River dominated the Miners with four goals in the second and three more in the third en route to an 8-1 win at Norwest Arena.
Eight Walleyes had multi-point games led by Kobe Braham with two goals and an assist, Brydon Bell’s goal and three helpers and Jeremy Dunmore’s and Euan Morrison’s three assists each. Defenceman Jack Cook fired in number 20 and added his 21st at 19:43 of the third on a Walleye powerplay to close out the scoring.
After no penalties in the first and a minor penalty each in the second, the game morphed into a penalty-filled match in the third.
Kam River clicked on four of six powerplay opportunities while Red Lake was shut down in four chances.
Eric Vanska picked up win 27 with a 23-save performance. Trent Boryszczuk faced 58 shots in the Red Lake net.
Riley Borody, Daxton Lang and Noah Kramps also had goals for Kam River. Lang added an assist and Josh Pufahl and Max Leduc had two assists each.
Jacob Lamoureux fired in his 34th for Red Lake.
Kam River has a seven-point lead for first place with a game in hand on second-place Dryden.
Attendance was 523. Many of the Walleye faithful will pack up their seat cushions and trek 30 km to Fort William Gardens for Friday and Saturday’s games against the Stars.
Kam River 3 @ Thunder Bay 4, Fri Mar 10: Kam River 2 @ Thunder Bay 2, Sat Mar 11
Keenan Marks made 50 saves as Thunder Bay garnered their first win in eight tries against Kam River on Friday.
Colby Feist and Nikolas Campbell had a goal and two assists each as the Stars pulled to within a point of third place Sioux Lookout. The Bombers dropped a 7-3 decision to Wisconsin.
Kam River struck for two powerplay goals in the opening frame. Max Leduc scored at 2:29 and Kobe Braham notched his first of two midway through the period. Feist’s 15th at 12:48 closed the gap.
In the second, Thunder Bay went ahead by two with three straight goals. Campbell tied the game on a Thunder Bay powerplay at 31 seconds. Nolan Desjardins’ high snipe at 3:49 and Sam Skillestad’s powerplay goal from his knees at 12:15 gave Thunder Bay a 4-2 lead. Braham’s second goal with 1:04 left in the second made it 4-3.
That was it for scoring. The third period was scoreless. The Stars were able to pin Kam River starting goalie Eric Vanska in his crease for much of the final minute or two. Vanska made 34 saves while dropping his record to 27-6-2.
Marks upped his record to 14-6-1 with his first star performance.
Thunder Bay was 2-6 with the man advantage while Kam River connected on two of four chances.
Only 10 minor penalties were called.
In Saturday’s game Max Leduc had a goal and assist and Jack Orchard made 30 saves as the Fighting Walleye defeated the North Stars 3-2 before 1,422 fans at the Gardens.
Edison Weeks found a seam and buried Jamie Fuchs’ pass for his 24th of the year to give Thunder Bay a 1-0 lead at 9:05 of the first. Ethan Lang converted a nice feed from Leduc to knot the score at 11:50. Ryan Doucette scored on a 2-on-1 with Mackenzie Sedgwick at 15:30 for a 2-1 Walleye lead after 20.
After a scoreless second Leduc scored his 16th going 5-hole on Keenan Marks with Jeremy Dunmore collecting his 38th helper to put Kam River up 3-1.
Sam Skillestad slapped in his 4th of the season from the point on a Thunder Bay powerplay to make it 3-2 with over half a period left.
Orchard collected his 10th win of the season against for losses, while Marks slipped to 14-7-1 with a 22-save effort. Thunder Bay had 90 seconds of extra attacker time but couldn’t find the equalizer.
Sioux Lookout’s second loss to Wisconsin keeps the Stars one point behind the Bombers for third place.
Simon Bienvenue had two assists for the Walleye.
Jack Cook and RJ Dickie fought in the third, but both teams managed to reel it in and keep the game under control.
Thunder Bay was 1-7 on the powerplay while Kam River was 0-4.
Sioux Lookout 3 @ Wisconsin 7, Fri Mar 10: Sioux Lookout 3 @ Wisconsin 5, Sat Mar 11
Wisconsin shook off seven consecutive losses to the Bombers with a weekend sweep.
Zach Carson had two goals and two assists to lead the Friday charge as the Lumberjacks prevailed 7-3.
Wisconsin held a 4-1 lead after one, a 6-1 lead after two, and Carson notched his 26th at 5:39 of the third for a 7-1 gap. Goals 26 seconds apart by Nathan Dann and Blake Burke at 13:25 and 13:51 made it respectable.
Ryder McMillen opened the scoring, Carson got his 25th 51 seconds later, Dylan Jouppi deflected Sal Poggiali’s point shot and Simon Davidson’s one-timer bar-down opened up a 4-0 Jacks lead, chasing Ethan Penner from the Bomber cage at 13:15 of the first.
Dann would score his 13th on a Sioux Lookout powerplay at 17:28 of the initial frame.
The McClure boys struck for Wisconsin in the second. Connor registered his 15th at 1:20 and Cooper scored less than two minutes later.
Sioux Lookout got two of three third period goals with the game out of reach.
Kyler Lowden picked up his 13th win with a 30-save effort for Wisconsin. Ethan Penner stopped 8 of 12 in the loss. Zach Lance came on in relief and stopped 17 of 20.
Wisconsin was 2-2 with the man advantage. The Bombers were 2-9.
Connor McClure and Jouppi added assists to their goals. Ryan Kayser, Poggiali and Brandon McDonald had two helpers each.
Conner Burke had two assists for Sioux Lookout.
The Jacks attracted 253 fans.
In Saturday’s contest Wisconsin went 3-3 on the powerplay and Drake Flynn had a pair of goals and an assist as the Lumberjacks won 5-3.
A Sioux Lookout/Wisconsin first round playoff series is a likely possibility, so these were statement games.
Nathan Dann had another two-goal game and opened the scoring for Sioux Lookout with a top shelf glove-side snipe at 4:41 of the first. Cooper McClure went 5-hole on Bomber starter Zach Lance to knot the score. Simon Davidson scored his 7th at 14:43 for a 2-1 Wisconsin lead. Dann got his fourth goal in two games with 23 seconds left in the first.
Sioux Lookout scored the first goal of the second period, while the Lumberjacks tallied the final three of the frame, and as it turned out, the game.
Blake Burke scored on Kyler Lowden’s doorstep to give the Bombers a 3-2 lead.
Ryder McMillen parlayed a deflection off the glass into his 29th of the season to tie it. Flynn scored the final two goals of the contest 1:36 apart late in the second to provide the margin of victory.
Sioux Lookout enjoyed a late powerplay in the third but couldn’t beat Kyler Lowden, who won his 14th game while making 32 saves. Lance was 35-40 on the night for Sioux Lookout.
A pair of misconducts inflated Sioux Lookout’s penalty numbers. Both teams took four minor penalties.
Wisconsin treks to Thunder Bay for a Monday matinee against the North Stars. A Thunder Bay win would slip the Stars into third place. If Thunder Bay does finish in third, a Wisconsin/Thunder Bay series would result.
Red Lake 5 @ Dryden 3, Fri Mar 10: Red Lake 1 @ Dryden 2, Sat Mar 11
Dryden outshot Red Lake 46-25 and had three powerplay goals, but Jack Osmond shunted aside 43 for his 16th win of the season as the Miners defeated the Ice Dogs 5-3 on Friday.
Gabe Tanton scored his 2nd of the season on a shorthanded Red Lake 2-on-1 at 14:36. Riley See doubled the lead with 1.3 ticks left in the period, beating Zac MacDonald with a powerplay wrister.
Dryden switched out MacDonald for Eric Clark to start the second.
Jacob Lamoureux scored his league-leading 35th at 11:10 of the second for a 3-0 Red Lake lead.
A total of five goals were scored in the third.
Bryce Benfield’s powerplay wrap around at 5:15 got Dryden on the board. Aiden Corbett put the Miners up 4-1. Jordan Pfoh’s powerplay marker pulled the Dogs to within two. Dayvan Bull’s shot from his own zone found an empty net for a 5-2 Miners’ lead.
Brady Frattinger struck on a Dryden powerplay with 42 seconds left to account for the final score.
Dryden was 3-5 on the powerplay. Red Lake was 1-4. A fine crowd of 465 attended.
Dryden picked up a 2-1 win on Saturday. Eric Clark stopped 36 shots and the Ice Dogs killed off 11 penalties.
Landen Stromme scored his 23rd unassisted at 10:52 of the second period after a scoreless first frame. Stromme stripped Red Lake of the puck in the Dryden zone, raced down left side and beat Jack Osmond.
Max Rath snuck in from his defence position and fired in his second of the year on a beautiful feed from Bryce Benfield for a 2-0 Dryden lead.
Luke Decorby scored Red Lake’s lone goal on a breakaway, going through Clark’s legs for his 12th.
Red Lake’s Ty Woodard took a five-minute spearing penalty midway through the second that ignited tensions.
Only three minors were called in the third, however.
Osmond made 38 stops in the Miners’ net as both goalies put on clinics.
Dryden was 0-3 in their three chances. The game attracted 262 patrons.
Sioux Lookout @ Fort Frances (PPD) , Sun Mar 12
This game was postponed.