Back in the Walleye net

July 18, 2022

Kam River Fighting Walleye had as good a goalie tandem as there was in the Superior International Jr. Hockey League en route to a first place finish in the 2021-2022 regular season.

To be sure, Austin Madge and Eric Vanska were pillars between the pipes for Kam River, which posted a regular season record of 35-7-2 in its first season as members of the SIJHL. And while Madge has graduated and is headed to the Oregon Ducks of the Division 1, American Collegiate Hockey Association effective the 2022-2023 campaign, Vanska has committed to return to Kam River as a 20-year old.

Vanska, a local Thunder Bay product, fashioned a regular season record of 12-4-1 with a 2.51 goals against average, .927 save percentage and two shutouts in helping Kam River to a first-place finish in 2021-2022. He then had a 2-1-0 record with a 3.66 goals against average and .914 save percentage in the playoffs as Kam River made it to the finals. And with the graduation of Madge, Vanska is expected to be the clear cut no. 1 goalie for the Fighting Walleye in 2022-2023.

Quite clearly, Kam River general manager Kevin McCallum is counting of Vanska to be the main man in the Walleye net.

“We knew when we first signed Eric that we had a future no. 1 goalie,” McCallum relayed to Hockey News North. “Having him already being one of the top goaltenders in the league last year sets us up really good in net for this season. He competes every night and puts a lot of time into his craft of being an elite goalie. We are excited to see what Vanska brings this year.”

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