Photo: Leith Dunick / tbnewswatch.com
OLIVER-PAIPOONGE, Ont. – Kam River Fighting Walleye (SIJHL) outlasted the Soo Eagles 5-4 in a lengthy shootout Sunday afternoon during a inter-Canadian Junior Hockey League exhibition match-up at NorWest Arena, near Thunder Bay.
Despite the setback, the Eagles won the three-game Teleco Cup series 2-1 following 3-2 and 5-3 triumphs, earlier in the weekend.
A tightly-contested opening 20 minutes Sunday saw Kam River hold a 12-11 edge in shots on goal, but neither side would convert offensively as the clubs went to the dressing rooms still in search of an initial tally on the afternoon.
Getting that goal were the Walleye as Euan Morrison made a nice deflection to put the hosts on the board.
Answering five minutes into the second stanza, Sault Ste. Marie drew level compliments of Kenny Belanger Jr., with help from Coby Fox.
The Kam River power play went to work as Kyle Lamoureux scored, only to see Alex Freund tie it again with half a game to go, with Jack Mortson earning an assist.
After a brilliant effort from Brian Fiddes to put the Eagles up 3-2, the Walleye’s Braeden Duchesne jammed one in, of a goal-mouth scramble to knot the affair once more.
Building on that, the SIJHL reps the retook the lead, however the Soo’s Vincent Anderson connected with 15 minutes remaining in regulation to give each team a fourth tally on the day.
There was no further scoring in regulation, so the contest went straight to the shootout to determine a winner.
In an action-packed edition of extra shots, Kam River prevailed in the 12th round, thanks to a Cooper Fink effort, to pull out the win and salvage a victory in the three-game set.
The Eagles will now prepare for their NOJHL season opener Friday, on the road, as they take on the rival Soo Thunderbirds in a 7 p.m. start at John Rhodes Community Centre.