DRYDEN, Ont. – The Dryden GM Ice Dogs pulled out a hard-fought 4-3 victory over the Thief River Falls Norskies in an all-important Superior International Junior Hockey League match-up Sunday at Memorial Arena.
With the outcome, the sides are now tied in the regular season standings with 84 points apiece as each club has two games remaining in the regular season.
The result also means the Thunder Bay North Stars will finish third in the SIJHL and will take on the Minnesota Iron Rangers in a first round best-of-five quarter-final match-up.
Sunday’s contest saw Thief River Falls get off to a good start with Parker Simonson snapping one high short side from a sharp angle over the shoulder of Dryden starter Landon Pavlisin during a man advantage opportunity at 11:33.
Simonson added early in the middle session as he went high again on Pavlisin for his 37th goal of the season.
Dryden got going offensively from there as they erupted for four tallies in under a nine-minute span to go up by a pair.
After Kris Hamlin put the GM Ice Dogs on the board with a power play marker, Ted Davis tied it at 10:18.
Dryden kept coming as Tristan Knott found the back of the net from close range a couple shifts later.
They then got the eventual game-winner off the stick of the league’s leading point getter as Jacen Bracko notched his SIJHL-best 47th goal at 14:41.
Blair Lindholm did bring the Norkskies closer before the second stanza was done as he too roofed it on the GM Ice Dogs goalkeeper.
The third period saw the two teams trade chances, but neither squad could score before time ran out.
Shots on goal favoured Dryden 49-27 with Pavlisin picking up the win and Schmitz the setback.
With the result, the GM Ice Dogs improved to 38-8-6-2 while Thief River Falls slipped to 40-10-2-2
Photo credit: Darby Hatfield