A week after experiencing back-to-back losses for the first time this season on a road trip to Peguis, the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN) Flames were back on home ice for a pair of games in Nelson House Jan. 24-25, handily defeating the Cross Lake Islanders 12-2 and 9-6 to increase their lead in the league standings over the second-place Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) Storm to three points.
The Flames played the games without their captain Keith Blacksmith, who was badly burned in a house fire in Thompson Jan. 24.
Michael Venne and Henry Muchikekwanape each had hat tricks in the 12-2 win Jan. 24, while Trent North added a pair and Jonathan Saunders, Lance Laycock, Keistin Saunders and Keenan Keeper all contributed singles. Kadin Ross and Tyler Monias had the goals for the Islanders, who were outshot 44-27. Braedin Melsted made 25 saves to get the win in the Flames’ net.
Michael Markus was the offensive leader in the 9-6 win the next day, with Jonathan Saunders, Venne, Jerome Linklater, Charles Monger, Laycock and Keeper adding one goal apiece. Ross had a pair for Cross Lake, with Logan Evans, Dennis Scatch, Derian Garrioch, and Justin Dorion notching singles. Shots were 39-21 for the Flames, who got 15 saves from Kruz Mitchell in net for the win.
The Flames take on the Storm in OCN Feb. 6 before returning to Thompson to host the Norway House North Stars Feb. 7, then playing them in Nelson House the next day.