THUNDER BAY – The Dryden Ice Dogs and the Thunder Bay North Stars play a two game series at Fort William Gardens this weekend. The North Stars are focused on getting back into the winning ways after a 9-0 drubbing at the hands of the Minnesota Iron Rangers earlier this week. The team owners have made some changes in the coaching staff.
The teams are off to a fast start tonight, with some solid clean checking and focused hockey.
The North Stars hit the penalty trail with Bryce Maggrah being called for tripping at 4:47.
On the power play the North Stars were able to keep the Ice Dogs from scoring, with only one shot on net.
Jayme Brattengeier is showing a hot hand so far in the first period, and keeping the Ice Dogs howling instead of scoring.
Shots on new half-way through the first period are North Stars 2 and Ice Dogs 6.
The hard skating and work paid off with a goal scored by #17 Wade Garbett of the North Stars, assisted #4 Matt Kaarela and #2 Marshall Fox . The puck slide past Eric Szymczyk putting the home team up 1-0.
The goal has lit up the North Stars who in a flurry of action put several solid shots on net testing Szymczyk. The N-Stars are playing inspired hockey, and have managed to cage the Ice Dogs for the past five minutes of play.
Matt Kaarela has been flying out there, and with a great pass almost gained his second assist.
Through the first period the North Stars put nine shots on net, the Dryden Ice Dogs eight.
Summary: The North Stars played a more disciplined style of hockey, stayed out of the penalty box, and moved the puck around well. The Ice Dogs are playing well,
Second Period Action
The second period is underway. The Ice Dogs got off their best scoring chance of the game but were stopped cold by Jayme Brattengeier who is playing a solid game.
The North Stars went on the power play and put the puck into the twine six seconds into the man advantage. The goal was snapped by the Dryden goalie with Derek McPhail in the box for cross-checking. Marshall Fox scored assisted by Bryce Maggrah to put the North Stars up by a pair of goals.
Fox was then hit with a minor for delay of game at 7:01.
The teams are grinding it out more in the second period, with tighter checking, and the referees blowing his whistle more. The North Stars were hit with #12 Kristopher Kellaway getting the box at 9:55 for tripping.
Jayme Brattengeier was smacked hard during a scrum in front of the net and has left the game in obvious pain. Eric Ouellett has taken over the North Stars net.
The North Stars are continuing to play solid hockey, and it has paid off with another power play goal, as #17 Wade Garbett (second of the night) put the puck into the net. Time of the goal 13:10. Tyler Walsh of the Ice Dog was cooling his blades in the box with a slashing penalty. Assisting on the goal were Cary Brown, and Mason Prout.
Matt Kaarela was hit with a charging penalty at 15:04 putting the Ice Dogs on the power-play.
#15 of the North Stars almost scored a short-handed goal, just missing, and bringing the referee back into the game as three Ice Dogs surrounded him. Penalties were assessed to both team.
#24 Ryan Wilgosh was called for roughing for the Ice Dogs, and Kolton Kahoot of the N-Stars was also sent to the box.
As the penalty to the North Stars ended, the Stars got off a flurry in front of the Ice Dogs net and almost put the fourth goal into the net.
Period Summary: The North Stars continued to play inspired hockey. Despite hitting the penalty box, they extended their lead. The injury to Goaltender Jayme Brattengeier has got the team fired up a little and Eric Ouellett has played very solidly coming off the bench cold.
At the end of two periods, shots on net North Stars 19 and Ice Dogs 13.
Third Period Action
Eric Quelett is remaining in goal for the North Stars, as the teams take to the ice.
The teams have hit the ice hitting each other, exchanging some solid body checks.
#17 of the Ice Dogs, Austin Lewis was leveled behind the North Stars goal, and was slow to get up and left the ice favouring his left arm.
Marshall Fox leveled one of the Ice Dogs behind the net and was called for a penalty at the 6:04 mark. The call was for roughing. Both teams are unwilling to give an inch to their opponent.
On the power-play Ice Dogs Assistant Captain #19 Tyler Wall scored making it a two goal lead, 3-0 at 7:00.
Matt Kaarela has taken the North Stars to a 4-1 lead with an unassisted goal coming at the 11:00 mark.
The goal has the North Stars, and the hard core fans fired up at the Gardens.
In what might have been an early effort toward an Ice Oscar, #17 Austin Lewis took a pretty dive and slide for about 15 feet along the ice but was unable to sell the referee.
Marshall Fox got two for unsportsmanlike conduct, and #20 Rory Court of the Ice Dogs for roughing as both players were mixing it up in front of the North Stars net. Both were sent off to cool down for a few.
Pelletier of the Ice Dogs got off a blistering slap shot from the point but it was easily gloved by Quelett.
With about four minutes to go, the play is still wide open. The North Stars are playing with confidence that they are back on the winning track under Coach Todd Howarth.
With 1:22 left in the game, the Ice Dogs put their second goal behind the North Stars goalie. Quelett was sprawling on the ice and the puck slipped under him. The goal was scored by #16 Chris Belhumeur assisted by #8 Len Pelletier and #9 Tyson Holder.
Shots on net: North Stars 28 and Ice Dogs 33.
The teams will go at it again on Saturday night for a re-match Saturday night – The puck drops at 7:30.
Tonight’s NetNewsledger.com sports team are Quinn Sprka, Nathan Ogden and Trent Campeau.
Tonight’s images are being captured on a Nikon 3200 Digital SLR.