THUNDER BAY – It took five rounds of a shootout, but Ryan Doucette and the Kam River Fighting Walleye finally prevailed.
Doucette beat Keenan Marks after the Thunder Bay North Stars goaltender had stopped Max Leduc, Jeremy Dunmore, Jack Cook and Euan Morrison in earlier rounds.
Eric Vanska was perfect on all five shots he faced in the shootout, denying Jamie Fuchs, Nolan Desjardins, Edison Weeks, Dimitri Trahiotis and Jake Parker.
The North Stars (10-6-3) took the initial lead in the Fort William Gardens contest at 16:10 of the second, Jonah DesRosiers firing his second of the season past Vanska. The home side held the lead until 6:21 of the third, when Anthony Oviedo notched the equalizer.
Vanska was good on 45 of 46 shots faced, while Marks stopped all but one of the 42 shots directed his way by the first-place Walleye, who swept the two-game weekend series, winning 7-3 over Thunder Bay on Friday night.
Thunder Bay travels to Sioux Lookout on Thursday, while Kam River (19-5-1) will be in Fort Frances on Friday.
Wisconsin 5, Fort Frances 2: Ryder McMillen had a goal and two assists to pad his lead atop the SIJHL scoring parade. McMillen, 20, has 15 goals and 30 assists in 24 games, his 45 points 10 clear of teammate Zach Carson.
Dryden 2, Sioux Lookout 1: Tyler Earl scored the winner with 6:33 to go in regulation, leading the Ice Dogs to a one-goal win. Nolan Palmer opened the scoring for the expansion Bombers, but Bryde Banfield tied the game at 15:58 of the first.