VIRGINIA, Minn. – A Kent Walchuk power play marker with 2:39 remaining was the difference as the Dryden GM Ice Dogs slipped past the Thunder Bay North Stars 3-2 Wednesday in Day 2 play of the Superior International Junior Hockey League Showcase at Cuppoletti Arena in the Miners Memorial Building in Virginia, Minn.
Dryden got going offensively with 3:05 left in the first as Karsen Szczecinski corralled a loose puck in the neutral zone and came into the Thunder Bay end where he snapped a shot high over the blocker of North Stars’ netminder Eric Mann from long range.
Special teams would allow Thunder Bay to knot the score at 1-1 near the three-minute mark of the second as Kris Hamlin wired one from the top of the right face-off circle the beat GM Ice Dogs starter Troy Pierce.
The North Stars then used the man advantage again to take the lead as Brendan Gillis fired a crisp cross-ice pass to defenceman Aaron Wesley-Chisel on the face-off dot, who fired in the go ahead marker at 8:43.
Dryden drew level in the latter stages of the stanza as Nic Noseworthy took a pass in the high slot and spun and wired his attempt off the post and in for his 16th of the season at 16:48.
The score remained knotted at 2-2 until the late going of regulation when Walchuk stuffed the game-winner past a sprawled Mann after a wrap around attempt from Braeden Allkins.
Pierce picked up the victory making 18 saves.
Gongshow Gear player of the game laurels went to Noseworthy of the GM Ice Dogs and the North Stars Mann, who kept his side in the game finishing with 41 stops overall.
Day 2 at the SIJHL Showcase concludes this evening at 7:30 p.m. CT as the Minnesota Iron Rangers take on the English River Miners.
The Showcase contests between SIJHL clubs count towards the league standings
Each SIJHL game, including the Showcase, is available online, on a pay-per-view basis, at FASTHockey.com.
All start times CT
Tuesday, Jan. 26
Fort Frances 3 Thunder Bay 2 (Shootout)
Cochrane (NOJHL) 2 Minnesota 1 (OT)
Wednesday, Jan. 27
Cochrane (NOJHL) 2 Fort Frances 0
Dryden 3 Thunder Bay 2
English River vs. Minnesota 7:30 p.m. (Miners Memorial – Virginia)
Thursday, Jan. 28
Fort Frances vs. English River 3 p.m. (Hoyt Lakes)
Minnesota vs. Dryden 7 p.m. (Hoyt Lakes)