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      SIJHL semifinals preview

      03/26/2015, 7:00pm CDT
      By SIJHL Communications

      SUPERIOR INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE

      SIJHL MEDIA UPDATE

      Release Date: Thursday, March 26, 2015

      SIJHL semifinals preview

      THUNDER BAY, Ont. – Semifinal action in the Superior International Junior Hockey League gets underway Friday on two fronts as both best-of-seven series begin.

      One semifinal match-up features the No. 1 rated Fort Frances Lakers taking on the No. 4 Thunder Bay North Stars while the other set has the No. 2 Minnesota Iron Rangers squaring off against the No. 3 Dryden GM Ice Dogs.

      The following is a preview of each series:

      SIJHL SEMIFINAL SERIES A
      No. 1 Fort Frances Lakers vs. No. 4 Thunder Bay North Stars
      Best-of-seven series
      Game 1: Friday, March 27 @ Fort Frances 7:30 p.m. (Ice for Kids Arena)
      Game 2: Saturday, March 28 @ Fort Frances 7:30 p.m. (Ice for Kids)
      Game 3: Monday, March 30 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m. (Fort William Gardens)
      Game 4: Tuesday, March 31 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m. (Gardens)
      Game 5*: Thursday, April 2 @ Fort Frances 7:30 p.m. (Ice for Kids)
      Game 6*: Saturday, April 4 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m. (Gardens)
      Game 7*: Monday, April 6 @ Fort Frances 7:30 p.m. (Ice for Kids)
      *-if necessary

      HEAD-TO-HEAD: Fort Frances and Thunder Bay met 14 times during the 2014-15 campaign with the Lakers easily taking the season set winning 11 of those match-ups.  

      Fort Frances came away victorious in all six meetings they had at Ice for Kids Arena and were 5-1-1 in the games held at the Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay.

      The North Stars won the neutral site contest the two teams played at the SIJHL Showcase in Hoyt Lakes back in January.

      LAST MEETING: The two sides last met in the SIJHL playoffs in 2014 when they played a two-game, total-goal series for the right to choose their semifinal opponent.

      After dropping the first contest 4-3, the Lakers bounced back with a 3-0 victory to take the overall series six goals to four.

      Fort Frances would go one to win the SIJHL title after rallying from a 3-1 series deficit to top Minnesota in seven thrilling games.

      FORT FRANCES: The Lakers take to the ice to begin their portion of the 2015 playoffs as defending Bill Salonen Cup champions.

      They have also won back-to-back regular season crowns in league play.

      Fort Frances went 43-11-2 to finish in top spot overall in the standings.

      They led the SIJHL in goals for at 254 and also allowed the lowest against at 179 in 56 games played.

      Offensively the Lakers were led by the trio of Wyatt Cota, Lucas DeBenedet and Mason Meyer who amassed 68, 58 and 57 points respectively.

      They also all finished in the top 10 in league scoring.

      Veteran forward Miles Nolan was third in the SIJHL in power play goals with 12 while Colton Spicer’s seven game-winners tied him for the most in the league. Bowen Alcock was fourth with five game-winners with Meyer and Cota picking up four apiece.

      The Lakers head three defencemen pace the club’s blueliners in points as A.J. Kapcheck, Sam Schultz and Nick Minerva all had 26 points each.

      Netminder Nathan Park led all SIJHL goaltenders in average, save percentage and shutouts at 1.92, .931 and three respectively.

      THUNDER BAY: The North Stars have already had a taste of playoff action in 2015 after sweeping the English River Miners 3-0 in their first round series.

      They had five different skaters pick-up five or more points in their sweep of the Miners led by veteran forward Matthias Gardiman with seven.

      Brandon Wolframe had six while CCM rookie of the year Bradley Belisle, Nicholas Nigro and Ryan Walsh had five points each.

      Gardiman also led the way for Thunder Bay in the regular season with 70 points.

      Tim Cavar paced all North Stars defencemen in points with 40.

      Nigro’s 17 man advantage markers led all players in the SIJHL.

      Eric Mann and Nathaniel Dupuis combined for 25 wins in net during the regular season and three so far in the playoffs.

      SPECIAL TEAMS: In the series win vs. English River, Thunder Bay clicked at a 33.3% success rate on the power play and went 83.3% while on the penalty kill.

      In the regular season the North Stars were 23.8% on the P.P. and 74.5% on the P.K.

      As for the Lakers, their power play proficiency was 26.2% and 79.1% while shorthanded.

      SIJHL SEMIFINAL SERIES B
      No. 2 Minnesota Iron Rangers vs. No. 3 Dryden GM Ice Dogs
      Best-of-seven series
      Game 1: Friday, March 27 @ Minnesota 7 p.m. (Hoyt Lakes Arena)
      Game 2: Saturday, March 28 @ Minnesota 7 p.m. (Hoyt Lakes)
      Game 3: Monday, March 30 @ Dryden 7:30 p.m. (Dryden Memorial Arena)
      Game 4: Tuesday, March 31 @ Dryden 7:30 p.m. (Memorial)
      Game 5*: Thursday, April 2 @ Minnesota 7 p.m. (Hoyt Lakes)
      Game 6*: Saturday, April 4 @ Dryden 7:30 p.m. (Memorial)
      Game 7*: Monday, April 6 @ Minnesota 7 p.m. (Hoyt Lakes)
      *-if necessary

      HEAD-TO-HEAD: Minnesota and Dryden tangled 14 times during the course of the regular season with the GM Ice Dogs winning nine of those contests.

      Five of the 14 games they played were decided in either overtime or a shootout.

      LAST MEETING: This will be the first-ever playoff meeting between the Iron Rangers and Ice Dogs.

      The last postseason series triumph for Dryden came back in 2012 when they knocked off the Sioux Lookout Flyers in six games before getting swept by Fort Frances in semifinal action.

      MINNESOTA: The Iron Rangers finished second overall in the SIJHL standings with 66 points on a 30-20-6 record.

      This marked the clubs highest finish in the standings in team history.

      They scored the second most goals in the league at 246 and gave up the second fewest at 198.

      Leading Minnesota offensively was forward Evan Erickson.

      He led the Iron Rangers with 71 points, which was also the third highest in the SIJHL.

      Erickson’s 50 assists paced all skaters in the league.

      Another veteran forward in Jason Reynolds was next on the squad in scoring with 64 points, which tied him for sixth overall in the league.

      Third in team offensive numbers was Matt O’Dea with 58 points.

      Thomas Fazio’s five shorthanded goals led the entire league in that department.

      Gongshow Gear best defenceman award winner Noah Anderson paced all league blueliners in goals, assists and points with 17, 37 and 54 respectively.

      Netminder Devin Tappenden combined for 19 victories with both Minnesota and Fort Frances and had the second most wins of any stopper in the SIJHL.

      DRYDEN: The club finished one point behind Minnesota in the standings with 65 points on a 30-21-5 record.

      Leading the GM Ice Dogs all season has been the one-two punch of Cole Golka and Jonathon Philley.

      The Dryden duo finished first and second in league scoring with Golka amassing 89 points and Philley 73.

      Matt Houston was third on the squad and tied for sixth overall with 64 points to his credit.

      Golka also set new team single season records for goals and points in a season, which included 47 tallies.

      His 14 power play goals were the second most in the SIJHL.

      He also tied for the league-lead in game-winning markers with seven.

      D-man Kyle Pouncy picked up 42 points for Dryden in league play, which was the second most of any defencemen in the league.

      Rookie blueliner Troy Williams was next on the team and fourth overall in D scoring with 39 points.

      Ice Dogs netminder Tate Sproxton led the SIJHL in wins with 23 and played the most minutes of any goaltender in the league at just over 2,319 minutes.

      SPECIAL TEAMS: Minnesota had six different skaters who scored five or more power play goals during the season and combined for 16 shorthanded tallies.

      Dryden also had a half dozen players with five or more man advantage efforts to their credit as well as 12 man down markers.

      The Iron Rangers went 20.7% while on the power play and successfully killed off 79.1% of the times they were down at least one man.

      The Ice Dogs boasted a power play success rate of 27.3% and were 78.1% on the penalty kill.

      NEXT UP: The two semifinal winners will then meet in the SIJHL final for the Bill Salonen Cup.

      Should Fort Frances take their series vs. Thunder Bay, then the club that comes out on top in the Minnesota – Dryden match-up will earn an automatic berth to the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Jr. A championship, which will be hosted by the Lakers, April 28 through May 2.

      If the North Stars prevail they would square off vs. the Iron Rangers or GM Ice Dogs for not only the Bill Salonen Cup, but the SIJHL berth at the Dudley-Hewitt to join the host Lakers and the respective champions of the Northern Ontario and Ontario Junior Hockey Leagues.

      FASTHOCKEY: Each SIJHL playoff game is available online via pay-per-view on FASTHockey, the official broadcast provider of the SIJHL and the Canadian Junior Hockey League.

      Simply visit sijhl.fasthockey.com for all the action.

      Live online scoring of all postseason contests will also be available through the league website at www.sijhlhockey.com.

      SUPERIOR INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE

      SIJHL MEDIA UPDATE

      Release Date: Thursday, March 26, 2015

      North Stars’ Adduono named SIJHL coach of the year

      THUNDER BAY, Ont. – The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced Thursday that Jeremy Adduono of the Thunder Bay North Stars has been named the SIJHL’s coach of the year for the 2014-15 season.

      Adduono narrowly edged out last season’s winner and four-time coach of the year recipient Wayne Strachan of the Fort Frances Lakers along with Kurt Walsten of the Dryden GM Ice Dogs in voting for the award completed by each of the league member clubs.

      He becomes just the second North Stars bench boss, along with four-time winner Todd Howarth, to garner SIJHL coach of the year honours in the 14-year history of the league.

      Adduono was recognized for his efforts in leading Thunder Bay through a campaign that saw his club hampered with multiple injuries and player shortages throughout the season.

      In all he guided his squad to 27 wins overall, two games over .500 and was named to the league’s CCM second all-star team at head coach in back-to-back campaigns.

      Under his tenure the past two seasons the North Stars have posted a record of 67-36-5.

      As a player, the 36-year-old Thunder Bay native played one year of junior locally with the Thunder Bay Flyers in the USHL before going on to star with the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League for three seasons, including serving as team captain in his final year.

      An NHL draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres, Adduono went on play one season with the Canadian National Team before moving on to an 11-year stint as a professional that included time in the American Hockey League and in Europe, mainly in the DEL, the top league in Germany.

      The following is the list of the all-time SIJHL coach of the year recipients:

      2014-15: Jeremy Adduono, Thunder Bay North Stars
      2013-14: Wayne Strachan, Fort Frances Lakers
      2012-13: Chris Walby, Minnesota Iron Rangers (Co-winner)
      2012-13: Rod Aldoff, Minnesota Wilderness (Co-winner)
      2011-12: Rod Aldoff, Wisconsin Wilderness
      2010-11: Wayne Strachan, Fort Frances Lakers
      2009-10: Clint Mylymok, Dryden Ice Dogs
      2008-09: Todd Howarth, Fort William North Stars
      2007-08: Wayne Strachan, Fort Frances Jr. Sabres
      2006-07: Randy Lulashnyk, Dryden Ice Dogs (Co-winner)
      2006-07: Todd Howarth, Fort William North Stars (Co-winner)
      2005-06: Bobby Spadoni, Schreiber Diesels
      2004-05: Todd Howarth, Fort William North Stars
      2003-04: Todd Howarth, Fort William North Stars
      2002-03: David Vescio, Thunder Bay Bulldogs
      2001-02: Wayne Strachan, Borderland Thunder

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      October: Cole Golka, Dryden


      January: Lucas DeBenedet, Fort Frances


      November: Evan Erickson, Minnesota


      February: Nathan Park, Fort Frances


      December: Cole Golka, Dryden


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