Dryden GM Pulls Out Victory Over Sioux Lookout in Gritty Effort by Both Teams

Tyler Earl after scoring the game winner PC Keri-Ann Kanceruk

By Mike Ebbeling

Dryden, ON – What a difference a day makes!

After a fast paced and relatively penalty free game Friday the thoughts of a Dryden GM Ice Dogs and Sioux Lookout Bombers “72” rivalry (relating to close proximity of the two communities on Highway 72″) may have ignited Saturday night at the Memorial Arena.

The Ice Dogs outlasted the Bombers in a gritty 2-1 victory to complete the weekend sweep in what was a knock you down, drag you out and last man standing classic.

Penalties were the early story early on, and would be throughout the game, as a frustrated Dryden GM team, due to a stifling defence on the Bombers side, resulted in a 2 minute slashing call to Landen Stromme. Just 23 seconds into the power-play the Miners would strike. A face-off win, one of many on the night, and some quick movement of the puck caught the home team off-guard and Nolan Palmer accepted a feed at the point from Ty Bahm and buried one past Ice Dogs goalie Eric Clark to open the scoring. Nathan Dann also earned an assist as he now has three points in his first three SIJHL games. The Bombers continued to control the pace of the game until both teams got in trouble. With Sioux Lookout on the power-play  a Graham Patrick interference call late in the man advantage resulted in a 4-4 situation but a face-off in the Sioux Lookout zone. This time Dryden GM controlled and capatized on a very rare Jake Manners mistake. A point shot from Elijah Pool hit Manners right in the chest but he couldn’t control the rebound and Bryce Benfield was there at the crease to bang it home for his ninth goal of the campaign. Landen Stromme also picked up a helper. The first would end 1-1.

It was a stalemate in the second and that’s when things became testy. Towering Dryden defenceman Max Rath received two early penalties for boarding and head contact. Following that assistant captain Ben Hackl jumped in after the Ice Dogs felt there should have been a penalty called on a play on captain Brady Frattinger. Things shortly escalated with a scrum involving multiple players following a Sioux Lookout Blake Burke high stick call. That resulted in three minor penalties. Not happy with the call the Bombers shortly after were assessed a bench minor penalty but nothing came from that except for more fireworks in a 1-1 game.

The third would start much the same with two early penalties, one on each side, and then at the 7:04 mark spirited Ice Dogs captain Brady Frattinger, still frustrated on what he felt was a non-call in the second, dropped the gloves with Kalin Roy. The feisty 18-year-old Roy from Sioux Lookout took on the challenge against the 20-year-old veteran as both teams tried to gain momentum. Dryden GM would land in more penalty trouble with the Bombers receiving a lengthy 5-3 but they failed to cash in. That could have been a game changer as the Ice Dogs suddenly poured it on. Bombers goalie Jake Manners made a game saving sprawling save when he was out of postion to preserve the tie. The Ice Dogs wouldn’t let up however and at the 13:27 mark a failed clearing attempt was stopped and Ty Earl would accept a quick pass at the half boards, quickly turn and fire, freezing Manners to score the winner. Sioux Lookout couldn’t muster any substantial attack after that.

The story of the game was defence with every single player on both sides putting forth a huge effort with very little mistakes in a tight and gridlocked battle. The already depleted Bombers back-end received a blow before the game as Peter Zillkalns was injured in warm-up and was ruled out. The injury is not considered serious but did leave the team with 5 defenceman. They also lost Roy due to the fighting major at the 7:04 mark of the third leaving the team with 4. 

The two teams are now tied for third in the standings with 24 points but the Ice Dogs have 3 games in hand. Next up for Sioux Lookout is a return home to face the Thunder Bay North Stars on Thursday, December 8. The Ice Dogs hit to road to Cochenour to battle the Red Lake Miners on Friday, December 9. Both those games can be viewed on SIJHL.TV


First: 8-6 Sioux Lookout

Second: 15-7 Dryden GM

Third: 13-9 Dryden GM

Final: 34-24 Dryden GM

Three Stars:

1.Bryce Benefield: Dryden GM   2. Landon Stromme: Dryden GM  3. Nolan Palmer: Sioux Lookout