Red Lake and Kam River

April 18, 2022

The frozen stage is set for the Superior International Jr. Hockey League championship series. It will be the no. 1 seed Kam River Fighting Walleye and the no. 2 seed Red Lake Miners facing off in a best of seven series.

The Fighting Walleye, in its first full season as members of the SIJHL, finished atop the standings with a 35-7-2 record and .818 winning percentage. And the Miners, who came into being as an SIJHL franchise in 2013, were right behind Kam River in the 2021-2022 regular season standings with a .797 winning percentage from a record of 28-6-3.

Due to cancellations and rink unavailability relative to the ‘vid, Red Lake played in seven fewer regular season games than Kam River.

Based on their 1-2 spots in the standings, both Kam River and Red Lake received opening round playoff byes this spring. Kam River then swept its cross-town rival Thunder Bay North Stars in four straight games while Red Lake dispatched the Dryden Ice Dogs in six games in semi-final play.

Notably, it was Red Lake’s ability to win on the road that led to the series victory over Dryden, which concluded on Easter Sunday. While the Miners won only one of three home contests, they took all three games from the Ice Dogs at Dryden Memorial Arena.

Evenly matched in most areas, both the Fighting Walleye and Miners are very well coached with young bench bosses at the helm. 32-year old Matt Valley is Kam River’s head coach and 34-year old Geoff Walker is Red Lake’s main man.

Above: Kam River at Red Lake in regular season play. (photo by Patrick Boucha)

Semi-final playoff action between Red Lake and Dryden. (photo by Patrick Boucha)

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