DRYDEN, Ont. – A Troy Sherman unassisted goal with 5:18 remaining in regulation was the winner as the Thunder Bay North Stars rallied to edge the Dryden GM Ice Dogs 3-2 in Game 2 of the Superior International Junior Hockey League Bill Salonen Cup final Sunday at Memorial Arena.
With the result, the hotly-contested best-of-seven series is now tied 1-1 heading into Game 3 Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET at the Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay.
After a lengthy delay when a pane of glass was shattered and replaced in the first minute of play, Dryden was quick to open the scoring as GM ice Dogs’ captain Trevor Kavanaugh ripped one off the post and in past Thunder Bay starter Brandon Bodnar at 1:45.
The home side added to their cushion 5:40 into the middle session as Kris Hamlin fired a shot through Bodnar from the left wing to make it 2-0.
Thunder Bay got that back a couple shifts later on a fortuitous bounce off a Turner Santin attempt that hit a Dryden defender and went right to Bradley Thrower who put the puck into the open side that GM Ice Dogs’ netminder Landon Pavlisin had no chance on.
It was more North Stars midway through the stanza as Santin left one for Ryan Mignault who wired one into the top right hand corner to knot the affair at 2-2.
The score stayed tied until the latter stages of regulation when Sherman snagged a bouncing loose puck just inside the Dryden blueline, darted in and lifted a backhand that slipped its way past Pavlisin.
Dryden pulled their netminder in the late going in an effort to tie and force overtime, but Thunder Bay held on defensively to secure the road victory.
Bodnar finished with 38 saves to record the win while Pavlisin made 32 stops in the narrow setback.
SIJHL Bill Salonen Cup Final (Series E)
Dryden GM Ice Dogs vs. Thunder Bay North Stars
Best-of-seven series tied 1-1
Game 1: Dryden 3 Thunder Bay 2 (OT)
Game 2: Thunder Bay 3 Dryden 2
Game 3: Tuesday, April 17 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m. ET (Gardens)
Game 4: Wednesday, April 18 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m. ET (Gardens)
Game 5: Friday, April 20 @ Dryden 7:30 p.m. CT (Memorial)
Game 6*: Saturday, April 21 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m. ET (Gardens)
Game 7*: Monday, April 23 @ Dryden 7:30 p.m. CT (Memorial)
*- if necessary
Photo credit: Darby Hatfield