Power of Kam River
April 9, 2023
Four local products came up big and the Kam River Fighting Walleye returned from a three-week break to vanquish the visiting Wisconsin Lumberjacks by a 10-2 score in Game 1 of their Superior International Jr. Hockey League semi-final playoff series.
Ace defenseman Jack Cook connected for three goals, 16-year old rookie sensation Max Leduc potted a pair, Jeremy Dunmore put up four assists and Eric Vanska made 31 saves as the Fighting Walleye entertained a full house of 745 fans at Norwest Arena with the exclamation point production. All four players are local lads from Thunder Bay.
It was first game for Kam River since its SIJHL regular season finale on March 18. The Fighting Walleye earned a first-round playoff bye after finishing atop the regular season standings of the SIJHL with 83 points from a record of 40-11-3.
As Kam River was well rested, Wisconsin may have been feeling the fatigue of a gruelling, seven-game opening round playoff series with the Sioux Lookout Bombers. The no. 6 seed Lumberjacks took Games 6 and 7 from no. 3 seed Sioux Lookout in what was an epic comeback for coach Doug Lein and his Wisconsin crew.
Game 2 in the best-of-seven set between Kam River and Wisconsin is slated for Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Norwest Arena.
Max Leduc (left) of Kam River and Wisconsin’s Dillon Phillips are up close in Game 1 action of the SIJHL semi-final series. (photo by Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com)