Thunder Bay North Stars Take on Dryden Ice Dogs

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The Thunder Bay North Stars scrum in front of the net at the end of the first period - Photo by Quinn Spyrka
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The Thunder Bay North Stars scrum in front of the net at the end of the first period – Photo by Quinn Spyrka

THUNDER BAY – Sports – The Thunder Bay North Stars are set to take on the Dryden Ice Dogs in a re-match from last night’s game. In the open game of the two game home stand, the North Stars won 4-2 in a hard fought battle Friday night before a dedicated but growing legion of fans.

Tonight, the team is seeking to make it two in a row.

The North Stars are starting Eric Ouellett in net after an injury to Jayme Brattengeier suffered in the second period of Friday’s game.

First Period Action

The game got off to a fast start, the Ice Dogs won the opening faceoff, but the teams are both skating hard and playing free-wheeling hockey. Hitting is solid. Ouelett has been tested early, but is looking sharp.

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Battling along the boards for the puck – photo by Quinn Spyrka

The Ice Dogs have had a few solid chances, but remain frustrated. You can sense that the North Stars under the return of Coach Todd Howarth.

The North Stars are going on the power play at 6:12 with the Ice Dogs #21 Derek MPhail getting the call for tripping. The power play didn’t last long as #21 Bryce Martyn was sent off for cross-checking at 6:56. Putting the teams at even strength.

Through the first eight minutes of the game, the Ice Dogs are playing inspired hockey. That effort is putting the North Stars into penalty country, giving the Ice Dogs a 21 second two-man advantage as #11 Cory Lacosse got the box at 8:36 for slashing.

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Dryden Ice Dog player #7 Mike Butler

The North Stars are back into the penalty box again as #9 Isaac howarth was called for slashing. Six seconds into the two man advantage, the Ice Dogs put the puck behind Ouelett. # 8 Len Pelletier scored, assisted by #24 Ryan Wilgosh on the power-play.

Matt Kaarela got the gate from the official for slashing putting the North Stars deep into penalty trouble.

Thunder Bay North Stars vs Dryden Ice Dogs
Photo by Quinn Spyrka

Shots on goal are North Stars 5 and Ice Dogs 13 – it is hard to get the offensive game on track when playing short-handed.

Coming out of the penalty box, Kaarela led a two-on-one rush that almost tied the game up. A great save by Eric Szymczyk kept the N-Stars off the score-sheet.

#8 of the Ice Dogs Pelletier is off for slashing at 17:11 giving the North Stars a man advantage. The North Stars spent the first minute of the man advantage with precision passing and gained several good scoring opportunities.

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The action was solid for most of the game. Here the linesman gets in the play- Almost. Photo by Quinn Spyrka taken with a Nikon D3200

With 16.2 seconds left in the period, a scrum led to penalties on both teams as a battle ensured after the play was called. #7 of the Ice Dogs and 9 for the North Stars were off to the penalty box.

Scrum in front of the Ice Dogs Net
This scrum in front of the Ice Dog net led to penalties at the end of the second period

Shots on net after one period: North Stars 10 Ice Dogs 16.

Second Period Action

The second period starts with the North Stars on a power play. The Stars put the pressure on early but the Ice Dogs continue to protect their single goal lead.

In the early going of the second, the North Stars are playing with solid passing and more discipline. You almost get the feeling that the ‘pep talk’ about penalties might have happened during intermission.

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The ice flies as the fight for the puck continues. Photo by Quinn Spyrka taken with a Nikon D3200 with an 18-55 VR lens.

The is a banner in the North Stars penalty box that reads “No Excuses”.

At 10:09 a pretty solid hit left a Dryden Ice Dogs player laying on the ice. A major scrum followed with #4 Matt Kaarela sent off for a five minute major for cross-checking and a game misconduct. For the Ice Dogs, #27 Paul Thompson was sent to the box for roughing after the play.

The action is end to end. The North Stars got a break-away and on the rebound the Ice Dogs got the puck on another break-away.

You can sense a little frustration from the North Stars players, as #28 Trevor Hynnes at 12:08 got the box for another penalty. The Ice Dogs put the puck behind Ouelett six seconds into the penalty taking a 2-0 lead.

Len Pelletier #8 of the Ice Dogs got the box at 14:56 for interference. The North Stars need to score here and get back into the game.

A missed pass led to a break-away by big Jesse Linner of the Ice Dogs but he was stopped cold. The North Stars will stay on the power-play as #7 Mike Butler of the Ice Dogs is tagged for 2:00 for high sticking.

The Ice Dogs are digging themselves a boneyard of penalty trouble as # 20 Rory Court got the box for slashing at 17:50.

Coming out of the penalty box, Court was offered a gift as the puck was popped right in front of him but he was unable to capitalize.

At the end of the second period shots on goal are tied at 29 for each side.

Third Period Action

The teams are off to a speedy start to the final period, with the North Stars controlling the puck in the Ice Dog end for the first two minutes of the period. Issac Horwath played the puck behind the Ice Dogs goal like a wild cat hunting for the net.

The North Stars were rewarded for their hard work, with a goal slammed behind the Dryden goaltender bringing the score to a 2-1 total. Goal was scored by # Cary Brown and assisted by Mitchell Fox. at 3:17.

The Ice Dogs are going to play the next two minutes short-handed as #20 Rory Court is off for tripping. Time of the penalty, 5:22.

Penalty killers for the Ice Dogs proved there is still fight and spirit in the team as they handily killed off the two minute time frame.

With ten minutes to go, the shots on net are 32 for the North Stars, and 30 for the Ice Dogs. Play has slowed a little at the mid-point of the period, as both teams are getting set, it appears for the sprint to the finish.

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Chris Belhumeur of the Ice Dogs bears down on the North Stars goaltender – Action shot by Quinn Spryka taken with a Nikon D3200 camera with a 18-55 VR lens

The North Stars appear to be dealing with losing Matt Kaarela and are continuing to press.

Play so far in the period has been far more focused, the North Stars are avoiding the sin bin, and that will be a key to winning.

Ouelett stood his ground as the Ice Dogs gathered themselves behind their own net before a long pass gave them a breakaway.

At 15:01 #21 Bryce Martyn was hit with a slashing penalty.

The N-Stars were able to kill off the penalty but the Ice Dogs scored what might be the icing on the cake with 2:53 left taking a 3-1 lead. The goal was scored by # 16 Chris Belhumeur unassisted.

#19 Mitchell Fox was in almost perfect position in the slot and almost brought the North Stars back into the game.

With 47.2 seconds left the teams are in the Ice Dogs end, the North Stars are still pressing. However their real enemy now is the timer.

Final Score Dryden Ice Dogs 3-1 over the North Stars.

Shots on net at the end of the game: Thunder Bay North Stars 35 and Dryden Ice Dogs 36.

Game Summary
1st Period — Scoring: DRY – Pelletier Goal (PP) (Wilgosh) 10:08. Penalties: McPhail, DRY (Tripping, Minor, 2 min) 6:12; Martyn, TBN (Cross-Checking, Minor, 2 min) 6:56; Lacosse, TBN (Slashing, Minor, 2 min) 8:36; howarth, TBN (Slashing, Minor, 2 min) 10:02; Kaarela, TBN (Slashing, Minor, 2 min) 10:41; Pelletier, DRY (Slashing, Minor, 2 min) 17:11; Butler, DRY (Roughing after the whistle, Minor, 2 min) 19:44; Winter, DRY (Roughing after the whistle, Minor, 2 min) 19:44; howarth, TBN (Roughing after the whistle, Minor, 2 min) 19:44. Goalie Changes: None.

2nd Period — Scoring: DRY – Court Goal (PP) (Walsh, Pelletier) 12:53. Penalties: Thompson, DRY (Roughing after the whistle, Minor, 2 min) 8:11; Thompson, DRY (Roughing after the whistle, Misconduct, 10 min) 8:11; Kaarela, TBN (Cross-Checking, Major, 5 min) 8:11; Kaarela, TBN (Cross-Checking, Game Misconduct, 10 min) 8:11; Hynnes, TBN (Slashing, Minor, 2 min) 12:08; Pelletier, DRY (Interference, Minor, 2 min) 14:56; Butler, DRY (High-Sticking, Minor, 2 min) 17:14; Court, DRY (Slashing, Minor, 2 min) 17:50. Goalie Changes: None.

3rd Period — Scoring: TBN – Brown Goal (Fox) 3:17; DRY – Belhumeur Goal 17:07. Penalties: Court, DRY (Tripping, Minor, 2 min) 5:22; Martyn, TBN (Slashing, Minor, 2 min) 15:01. Goalie Changes: None.

Tonight’s NetNewsledger North Stars team feature Quinn Spyrka and Nathan Ogden. Images from tonight’s game are shot on a Nikon 3200 Digital SLR.

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