Dryden Wins on Family Day

Special teams and penalty trouble played the leading role Monday afternoon as Dryden GM outlasted the visiting Kenora Islanders 5-3 in a Family Day matinee.
The Islanders got off to strong start in the early portion as they executed a close checking lockdown slowing the speedy Ice Dogs forwards. They also were able to generate some strong opportunities in the offensive zone but were unable to solve Christian Lynch, who was playing in his first game in front of the hometown fans. The game quickly shifted at 13:22 when Branden Swampey was assessed a five minute major for a slash on Adam Zimmerman behind the Dryden net. The home team made the visitors pay only four seconds into the powerplay.  Following a clean faceoff win Max Roby found open ice and delivered a strong shot from the blueline with James Hooton and McLaren Paulsen in front of a screened Kaden King. Hooton would get credit for his 5th goal in 7 games The Ice Dogs didn’t take their foot off the gas pedal as about a minute later the exact same scenario would play out. After another clean faceoff win and a failed clearing attempt this time it was Geoff Bjarnason shooting the puck in front of a packed crease. Again it was  Paulsen wreaking havoc in front and he tipped it in for his 22nd of the year. About two minutes after that another failed clearing attempt resulted in the third powerplay goal. Some crisp passing between Eli Antoine and Jackson Payeur was able to free open Adam Zimmerman. Zimmerman moved in a couple of steps and buried a wrist shot over the shoulder of King for his third of the campaign. The Ice Dogs believed they had a fourth goal on the major penalty. With Paulsen again screening the Kenora goalie, he redirected a shot into the net, however the referee was right there to blow the play dead with a high stick. Momentum shifted the other way towards the end of the period on Dryden GM’s first penalty of the game. William Burns was flagged for tripping at 19:21 A methodical Kenora attack moved the puck up ice ending with a 3-on-2. With 11 seconds left in the opener, Branden Boress unleashed a laser from just inside the blueline to beat a screened Lynch and record his first of the year. Aaron Bertschinger and Nolan Rawn were awarded assists. The wild first ended with the Ice Dogs outshooting the Islanders 22-11.
Dryden GM jumped out of the gate to open the second period with some good puck movement and cycling. Only 1:11 in Stanislav Boiarchuk would finish it off with his 4th of the year. Rylan Maier and Eli Antoine picked up helpers. Not phased the Islanders would answer quickly as at 3:24 Branden Boress was allowed once again to release a powerful shot from the blueline, utilizing another screen. This time the puck would change direction earning Hudson Favreau his first SIJHL goal. Kenora couldn’t maintain momentum and got away with some sloppy neutral zone play. Boiarchuk would break away alone, managing to beat Kaden King, but he couldn’t beat the post. Moments after that Sean Smith came in alone only to put the puck over the net. Shots were 18-11 in favour of the Ice Dogs.
It appeared Dryden GM would pull away in the third as a costly turnover behind the net at 2:34 ended up in front to a wide open Max Roby who easily recorded his 22nd of the season. Carson Devine and Sean Smith were credited with assists. After that Dryden GM would cut the ice in half bottling up the Islanders attack and limiting the opposition to only 3 shots on net. However a fortuitous bounce off a couple of players in front of Christian Lynch ended up on the stick of Brayden Mackay who tapped it into an open net at 15:18 to give Kenora new life in a 5-3 game. Aaron Bertschinger and Ezekiel Kirkness were awarded assists. Any hope of a comeback was crushed at the end of that play when Michael Charney was penalized for slashing an Ice Dogs player after the goal. A short time later the Islanders were down two men giving the home team a 5-on-3 allowing them to run off time. The final blow was an Unsportsmanlike Conduct call with under a minute to play. Final shots in the contest were 61-26 for Dryden GM. The two teams will now rest for a two game series Friday and Saturday in Vermilion Bay and Kenora.
  1. McLaren Paulsen (DRY): 1 goal
  2. Adam Zimmerman (DRY): 1 goal
  3. Kaden King (KEN): 56 saves