DRYDEN, Ont. – The defending Superior International Junior Hockey League champion Dryden GM Ice Dogs made a strong opening statement that they have every intention of repeating as they dropped the Fort Frances Lakers 7-2 in Game 1 of their best-of-seven semifinal Friday at Memorial Arena.
It took the GM Ice Dogs just 33 seconds to begin the night’s scoring as rookie Evan Walls notched his first SIJHL playoff marker.
Eric Stout then upped the cushion to two three minutes later.
Regrouping, Fort Frances countered with markers from Ian Jarvis and Adam Withers later in the frame to knot the score at 2-2 after one period of play.
It stayed tied until just past the 12-minute mark of the middle session when Reid Manning buried the eventual game-winner.
Dryden defenceman Brendan Jay added his first at 17:50 as the GM Ice Dogs carried a 4-2 lead into the final frame.
They then put the game away in the third by tacking on tallies by SIJHL Most Valuable Player Jacen Bracko early before Matthew Pitchenese and Ted Davis wrapped things up offensively.
Bracko, Jay, Davis and Cory Dennis all chipped in with two assists in the triumph.
Game 2 goes Saturday back in Dryden at 7:30 p.m. CT.
No. 1 Dryden GM Ice Dogs vs. No. 5 Fort Frances Lakers
Dryden leads best-of-seven series 1-0
Game 1: Dryden 7 Fort Frances 2
Game 2: Saturday, March 31 @ Dryden 7:30 p.m. CT (Memorial Arena)
Game 3: Tuesday, April 3 @ Fort Frances 7:30 p.m. CT (Ice for Kids Arena)
Game 4: Thursday, April 5 @ Fort Frances 7:30 p.m. CT (Ice for Kids Arena)
Game 5*: Sunday, April 8 @ Dryden 4 p.m. CT (Memorial Arena)
Game 6*: Monday, April 9 @ Fort Frances 7:30 p.m. CT (Ice for Kids Arena)
Game 7*: Wednesday, April 11 @ Dryden 7:30 p.m. CT (Memorial Arena)
*- if necessary
Photo credit: Darby Hatfield