SIJHL Showcase – Miners slip past Iron Rangers in shootout

SIJHL Showcase - Minnesota Iron Rangers and Ear Falls Miners in Action
SIJHL Showcase - Minnesota Iron Rangers and Ear Falls Miners in Action
SIJHL Showcase - Minnesota Iron Rangers and Ear Falls Miners in Action
SIJHL Showcase – Minnesota Iron Rangers and Ear Falls Miners in Action

SIJHL Showcase Action Continues

VIRGINIA, Minn. – The English River Miners rode the stalwart goaltending of Reid Kilburn and got the winner in extra shots from Nash Dabb to earn a 4-3 shootout decision over the Minnesota Iron Rangers Wednesday evening in Day 2 action at the Superior International Junior Hockey League Showcase at Cuppoletti Arena in the Miners Memorial Building in Virginia, Minn.

After successfully killing off a pair of Minnesota power plays, English River took the lead midway through the opening frame as Brody Jennings drove down the left side and neatly fed an open Ryker Moreau in the slot, who buried his attempt into the top left hand corner for his 13th of the season past goalkeeper Kyle Carignan.

A third man advantage opportunity in the period allowed the Iron Rangers to tie it when Jake Ellingston darted in from the right wing before cutting hard across the crease and neatly tucking a backhand high over the blocker on Miners’ netminder Kilburn.

Action in the second stanza saw each team tally once to knot the affair at 2-2 through 40 minutes.

Daniel Szpakowski put English River in front, via the power play, at 5:19 of the session as he took a Moreau drop pass and cut out from the corner lifted the go ahead effort through a crowd in front of Carignan and in.

Minnesota countered with the equalizer four minutes later when Gus Karkinen shovelled the puck to Keaton Huot on the right face-off dot, who wristed his shot through Kilburn.

Austin Ramirez gave the Iron Rangers their first lead 5:16 into the third as his power play shot went top shelf over a sprawling Kilburn.

The back and forth affair saw the Miners tie the contest as Hank Bouchard’s attempt for the high slot found it’s way into the back of the net at 7:46 to knot the score for a third time and force OT.

Karkinen had a glorious chance to win it for Minnesota early in the extra session but his attempt rang off the cross bar and flew out of play.

It remained scoreless through the five-minute overtime, so the shootout was required to decide a winner.

Minnesota’s John Cuni and English River’s Szpakowski each scored through two rounds of extra shots.

On the Miners third attempt Dabb buried his attempt with a quick blast between the hash marks while Kilburn stymied Dalton Johnson on the Iron Rangers last try to end it.

Kilburn finished the night with 38 saves, plus two more in the shootout, to earn the victory for the Miners.

Carignan made 21 stops for Minnesota helping them pick-up a point in the SIJHL standings.

Gongshow Gear player of the game accolades went to Kilburn and Ramirez.

The SIJHL Showcase wraps up Thursday with a pair of contests on the slate.

The Fort Frances Lakers will take on English River in the opener at 3 p.m. CT before the Iron Rangers host the Dryden GM Ice Dogs at 7 p.m. with both match-ups being held at Hoyt Lakes Arena.

The Showcase contests between SIJHL clubs count towards the league standings

Each SIJHL game, including the Showcase, is available online, on a pay-per-view basis, at

SIJHL Showcase
All start times CT
Tuesday, Jan. 26
Fort Frances 3 Thunder Bay 2 (Shootout)
Cochrane (NOJHL) 2 Minnesota 1 (OT)
Wednesday, Jan. 27
Cochrane (NOJHL) 2 Fort Frances 0
Dryden 3 Thunder Bay 2
English River 4 Minnesota 3 (Shootout)
Thursday, Jan. 28
Fort Frances vs. English River 3 p.m. (Hoyt Lakes)
Minnesota vs. Dryden 7 p.m. (Hoyt Lakes)

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