SIJHL gearing towards playoffs

March 20, 2022

Finish the regular season on high with the playoffs looming. That would be a logical and obvious focus for the six teams of the Superior International Jr. Hockey League.

The 2021-2022 regular season concludes in the SIJHL this week with the playoffs to follow. All six teams will make the playoffs with the first and second place finishers from the regular season standings getting opening round byes.

Due to an inability to complete a balanced regular season schedule with some teams playing more games than others relative to Covid disruption, final standings will be determined by winning percentage.

Heading into the final week of regular season play, first place Kam River Fighting Walleye (34-6-2) and second ranked Red Lake Miners (26-6-3) are in control of the top two seeding positions and the opening round playoff byes. Next in the standings are the Dryden Ice Dogs (24-15-3), Thunder Bay North Stars (20-15-4), Wisconsin Lumberjacks (16-23-2) and Fort Frances Lakers (5-34-1.)

Of note, first place Kam River and second seed Red Lake have faced off against one another nine times this season. The Miners have won five games, the Fighting Walleye has won four — and four of the nine matches have either been decided in overtime or via the shootout. (see above photo by Patrick Boucha.)


Maxime Collette of Dryden is poised to win the SIJHL scoring championship. The 20-year old forward has 41 goals, 32 assists, 73 points. Next is 20-year old Red Lake forward Jordan Baranesky, who has 31 goals, 31 assists, 62 points.

Dayton Clarke

• 20-year old forward Dayton Clarke has been a valuable addition to Kam River since being acquired by the Fighting Walleye from the Elliot Lake Red Wings of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League at January’s Canadian Jr. Hockey League trade deadline. In 12 games with Kam River, the 6-foot-3, 225 pound Clarke has 11 goals, four assists, 15 points. He had 12 goals, one assist, 13 points in 20 games with Elliot Lake before the trade to Kam River. To be sure, with 23 goals in 32 games between the two teams and two leagues, Clarke has established himself as a dangerous offensive threat.

• Another 20-year old former NOJHL’er, forward Ryan Hunter of Red Lake, has had a major impact since being obtained by the Miners from the Cochrane Crunch. Hunter has 25 goals, 31 assists, 56 points in just 25 games in a Red Lake uniform and is fourth in the entire SIJHL in scoring.

Eric Clark

• Yet another former NOJHL’er, 19-year old goalie Eric Clark, has done a good job for Dryden since being picked up from the Blind River Beavers of the NOJHL. Clark has a 4-3-1 record with a 2.97 goals against average and .913 save percentage for the Ice Dogs. Clark is sharing crease duties for Dryden with 20-year old retread Cole Johnston.

• After ending February with embarrassing 13-1 and 17-4 road losses to Red Lake, Wisconsin has won five games in a row since the beginning of March, including a 5-1 rebound win over the Miners. The Lumberjacks now have a record of 16-23-2 with two games to play in the regular season, both at home against Dryden this weekend. 19-year old forward Salvatore Poggiali recently surpassed the 20-goal mark by lighting the lamp five times in two games as the Lumberjacks continued their winning ways with a road sweep of Fort Frances. Poggiali is fifth on the SIJHL scoring chart with 21 goals, 33 assists, 54 points.

• During Wisconsin’s current streak of five straight victories, 19-year old Kyler Lowden has been the goalie of record for the Lumberjacks in every single win. For the season, Lowden has an even 12-12-1 record to go with a 4.54 goals against average and .895 save percentage.

What you think about “SIJHL gearing towards playoffs”

  1. How about late birthday, still 19, rookie goalie from Red Lake ? Kiev K

    I like him to be the difference in the playoffs and leading the Miners to the Nationals.

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