By Gary Moskalyk
Dryden, ON – There’ll be no 0-3 start for the Dryden Ice Dogs this year. Defenceman Sebastiano Biagi scored a pair and Braxton Castagno came within 1:22 of a shutout as the Dogs defeated Fort Frances 4-1 before a robust crowd of 507 at the Dryden Memorial Arena.
Castagno stopped 29 for his first SIJHL win.
Ryland Maier opened the scoring for Dryden at 4:46 of the first. Nathan Prodanuk and Biagi added second period markers for the Ice Dogs to open up a three-goal lead.
Trevor Sanderson scored late in the third on a Fort Frances powerplay to narrow the score. Lakers’ coach Tyler Miller was able to pull starting goaltender Jack Orchard with 1:04 to go. Biagi’s empty netter with 36 seconds left kiboshed the strategy to send head coach Kurt Walsten home with a win to open the season.
Fort Frances was 1-9 on the powerplay as the Ice Dogs racked up 32 penalty minutes. Dryden was 0-6 with the man advantage. The Lakers took six minors.
Maier was awarded a penalty shot at 9:30 of the third while Dryden was shorthanded. Orchard was able to glove the attempt to keep the score at 3-0 and give the Lakers a chance to come back.
Orchard was 32-35 in his first start as a Laker.
The teams re-engage Saturday.