Every hockey season has its ups and downs and 2018-19 was no exception for the Thunder Bay Fighting Walleye. It sat atop of the Lakehead Junior Hockey League standings for much of the first half of the season only to be past by late by their rival Northern Hawks who finished three points in front at seasons end.
Posting a 17-8-1-3 regular season, the Fighting Walleye swept through to the league finals where they were defeated in five games. They will get their shot at redemption on Friday when the Thunder Bay rivals meet in a Keystone Cup round robin game.
Fighting Walleye get back into the series winning Game 3 tonight vs @NorthernHawks 5-4 in OT! #LJHLplayoffs
— TBay FightingWalleye (@WalleyeJrHockey) March 29, 2019
Kyle Savela led his team in scoring with 67 points in a lineup that featured five players with 20 goals or more. 30-goal scorer Wolf Bannon, a second year forward out of Sioux Lookout, finished second among league goalscorers. Lee Ferris (51 points), Kyle Swerhun (45 points) and Matt Ray (42 points) were the others to break the 20 goal plateau.
Brendan Mallon (3.01 GAA, .902 save%) and Nate Geddes (3.74 GAA, .895 save%) split time between the pipes for the Walleye, each among the LJHL top three goaltender leaders. If the pair step to the challenge the Fighting Walleye could be competing for gold on Sunday.
Fighting Walleye Keystone Cup 2019 schedule
2:00 PM vs Northern Hawks
9:00 PM vs Cross Lake Islanders
2:00 PM vs Peguis Juniors
6 or 9 PM vs TBD (semifinals)
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