The Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN) Flames ascended into second place in the Keystone Junior Hockey League standings with a pair of wins over the Cross Lake Islanders in Thompson and Nelson House Nov. 22-23.
The two-game series began with a 10-1 victory on Friday night at Thompson’s C.A. Nesbitt Arena, in which the Flames never trailed and led for all but the first six minutes of the game.
Trent North scored three times in the game, including the first goal of the game early in the first period and a second one in the period’s final minute to make it 3-0 Flames. North’s hat trick marker came in the final minute of the second period. Henry Muchikekwanape had a first period goal and added another in the third period. Michael Venne also had a pair of goals, both in the final frame. Other scorers for the Flames included Keistin Saunders, Jonathan Saunders and Albert Berard. Dennis Scatch had the only goal for the Islanders late in the third period.
Shots in the game were 51-38 for the Flames, who got 37 saves from goaltender Braedin Melsted. Marcus Ross was tagged for the loss in the Islanders’ net after giving up four goals on 11 shots before being replaced by Peter Ross early in the second period.
The Flames got all the goals they would need to win in the first 15minutes of Satruday’s game in Nelson House, with Lance Laycock, Keith Blacksmith, James Moore, Keistin Saunders and Jonathan Saunders staking NCN to a 5-0 lead before Armando Evans and Dixon Thomas replied for the islanders in the opening period’s final minute.
The final score was 12-4 for the Flames, who got five second period goals from Blacksmith, North, Muchikekwanape – with a pair – and Berard and third period markers from Muchikekwanape and Laycock before Quinton Scatch and Kadin Ross scored for Cross Lake in the last two minutes of the contest.
Kruz Mitchell made 23 saves for the Flames, who outshot the Islanders 50-27. Peter Ross started in net for Cross Lake and gave up two goals on two shots before being pulled in favour of Marcus Ross, who made 38 saves.
The wins put NCN into second place in league standings with 10 points in six games, 10 points back of the OCN Storm, who have 10 wins in 12 games. The Peguis Juniors are one point behind the Flames with four wins in eight games, while the Islanders are one point behind Peguis with four wins in nine games. The Flames play their first road game of the season Nov. 30 against OCN.