Dryden GM Ice Dogs advance to 2nd straight Bill Salonen Cup final with series win over Thunder Bay



Release Date: Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Photo credit: Gary Moskalyk, The Chronicle-Journal

Dryden GM Ice Dogs advance to 2nd straight Bill Salonen Cup final with series win over Thunder Bay

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – A Kyle Pouncy goal with 6:20 remaining broke a third period tie as the Dryden GM Ice Dogs went on to defeat the Thunder Bay North Stars 5-3 Tuesday evening in Game 6 of their Superior International Junior Hockey League semifinal at the Fort William Gardens.

With the win, Dryden takes the best-of-seven series 4-2 and will now take on the two-time defending SIJHL champion Fort Frances Lakers in what will be a rematch of last season’s final.

The Bill Salonen Cup is tentatively slated to begin Thursday at 7:30 p.m. CT at Ice for Kids Arena in Fort Frances.

Game 2 meanwhile is currently scheduled for Sunday at 7:30 p.m. CT back in Fort Frances.

The complete schedule will be announced Wednesday once it is finalized.

In Tuesday’s contest, Thunder Bay did get off to a good start notching the night’s opening tally 2:19 into the contest as Avery Siau lifted in his first of the series past Dryden starter Troy Pierce following a goal mouth scramble.

Dryden countered and came right back with the equalizer just seven seconds later as Braeden Allkins buried a Troy Williams feed as his effort eluded North Stars netminder Riley Corbin.

The GM Ice Dogs went up 2-1 at 8:36 as Allkins won a face-off cleanly to Nathan Avery, who snapped in the go-ahead marker from near the side boards that fooled Corbin.

Action in the middle stanza saw Dryden go up by a two thanks to the power play as Avery was left alone in front and snapped one home at 6:14.

The North Stars countered shortly after Nicholas Nigro rang one off the post, as Brad Thrower banked the puck in off Pierce from a sharp angle along the goal line 76 seconds after Avery’s effort.

Thunder Bay would then notch the equalizer late in the session as Siau drove down the left side and fired a pass that bounced off the skate of a GM Ice Dogs defender before Bryce Martin jammed his attempt under the visitors netminder at 18:34.

Heading into a tight-checking final frame it was Pouncy that notched the decider as he corraled the puck in the neutral zone and caught the home side on a change as he darted in with his wrist shot surprising Corbin as his effort went high blocker side for the eventual game-winner.

Dryden added some insurance just over a minute later as they took advantage of a turnover with Tanner Watt chipping one in over the outstretched glove of the North Stars goalkeeper.

The North Stars pulled their netminder late, but Pierce and the Dryden defence stood tall to secure the victory.

Finals shots on goal favoured the GM Ice Dogs by a 42-29 count with Pierce picking up the win and Corbin the season-ending loss.

All SIJHL games are available online at FASTHockey.com.

SIJHL semifinal schedule (Series C)
No. 2 Dryden GM Ice Dogs vs. No. 3 Thunder Bay North Stars
Dryden wins best-of-seven series 4-2
Game 1: Dryden 3 Thunder Bay 2 (OT)
Game 2: Dryden 6 Thunder Bay 3
Game 3: Thunder Bay 3 Dryden 2
Game 4: Dryden 5 Thunder Bay 4 (OT)
Game 5: Thunder Bay 4 Dryden 2
Game 6: Dryden 5 Thunder Bay 3