DRYDEN ICE DOGS 7 THUNDER BAY NORTH STARS 4 – Chris Belhumeur had a natural hat-trick including the game-winning tally in the third period along with an earlier assist to help the hometown Ice Dogs remain unbeaten.
Thunder Bay struck quickly to open the scoring in this one as Brad Cox beat Dryden starter Eric Szymczyk at the 28-second mark.
Tyler Walsh notched the equalizer midway through the opening period for the Ice Dogs while Len Pelletier made it 2-1 Dryden at 14:58.
Wade Garbett answered back for the North Stars 23 second later to level the proceedings after one period of play.
The two sides added a pair of markers apiece in the middle frame to knot the score at 4-4 after 40 minutes with Patrick Murphy and Jared Stratford scoring for Dryden while Mathias Gardiman and Bryce Martin, who struck with 13 seconds remaining in the session, replying for Thunder Bay.
It was all Belhumeur in the third as the Ice Dogs pulled away for the victory.
He fired the game-winner at 6:30 of the period, added a power play marker seven minutes later and finished off his hat-trick with a shorthanded-empty net effort in the late stages to cap off his four-point night.
Shots on goal favoured Dryden 40-27 with Szymczyk picking up the win while Arthur Haase suffered the loss in his North Stars debut.
MINNESOTA WILDERNESS 4 FORT FRANCES LAKERS 0 – JoJo Jeanetta turned aside all 21 shots he faced to post the shutout as the Wilderness completed a weekend home-and-home sweep of the Lakers.
The eventual game-winner came 12:40 into the contest as Mike MacKinnon scored shorthanded on Fort Frances netminder Dustin Stevens.
Minnesota tacked on two more tallies in the middle frame to go up three as Jeremy Johnson and Joseph Drapluk found the back of the net on Stevens.
Tyler Gorniak’s third of the season wrapped up the night’s scoring in the final period as he scored with under five minutes to go.
The Wilderness outshot the Lakers 47-21 on the night improving to 4-1 on the season while Fort Frances remains winless at 0-3.
League play resumes Sunday as the Wilderness head to Duluth to meet the hometown Clydesdales in a 6 p.m. start at the Heritage Sports Center.