DRYDEN, Ont. – A Ryan Brandt right point shot late in the second period proved to be the game-winner as the Dryden GM Ice Dogs went on to defeat the Thunder Bay North Stars 5-3 Sunday in Game 3 of their Superior International Junior Hockey League semifinal series, with 674 fans on hand, at Memorial Arena.
With the outcome, the GM Ice Dogs pick up their first win of the series and now trail the best-of-seven affair 2-1 with Game 4 slated for Monday night back in Dryden at 7:30 p.m. CT.
It was the home side that started the scoring 5:49 into the contest as Dylan Winsor forced a turnover then chipped the puck over to Malcolm Huemmert, who whipped one past Thunder Bay starter Dougie Newhouse from the high slot.
The GM Ice Dogs then chased Newhouse a couple minutes later off a faceoff win that resulted in Curtis Magas lifting one from the left blueline that sailed into the top of the net and saw the North Stars’ Brock Aiken enter the game in net.
A two-man advantage helped the visitors get on the board early in the second stanza with Kyle Auger snapping a shot that eluded Dryden netminder Jacob Anthony.
Then while still up a skater, Thunder Bay drew level with Jacob Brown chipping one over Anthony at 2:37.
Using a turnover, Evan Pakkala made the most of the opportunity for the hosts as he cut through a trio of players and notched his fourth of the playoffs at 8:50.
They then added the eventual difference maker 10 minutes later with Brandt converting quickly on a power play as he fired his attempt from the right point that eluded Aiken.
The North Stars came right back though, answering 25 seconds later, to make it 4-3 after two periods of play as Jacob Anttonen finished off a couple of whacks at it from close range.
Heading into the third, Dryden couldn’t score with an early man advantage, but then successfully killed off a pair of penalties to keep it a one-goal game with half a frame to play.
Thunder Bay opted to pull Aiken with 2:13 remaining in regulation for an extra attacker, but it was Eric Stout sealed the victory for the GM Ice Dogs with a long-range empty netter in the late going to round out the scoring.
Stout and Braden Shea chipped in with two assists apiece for Dryden.
Shots on goal favoured the GM Ice Dogs by a 50-40 count, with Anthony picking up the win and Aiken the loss in lengthy relief.
All SIJHL playoff contests are streamed live, and on demand, via HockeyTV.com.
No. 1 Thunder Bay North Stars vs. 4 Dryden GM Ice Dogs
Thunder Bay leads best-of-seven series 2-1
Game 1: Thunder Bay 4 Dryden 3 (OT)
Game 2: Thunder Bay 3 Dryden 2 (2OT)
Game 3: Dryden 5 Thunder Bay 3
Game 4: Monday, April 1 @ Dryden 7:30 p.m. (Memorial Arena)
Game 5: Wednesday, April 3 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m. (Fort William Gardens)
Game 6*: Friday, April 5 @ Dryden 7:30 p.m. (Memorial Arena)
Game 7*: Sunday, April 7 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m. (Fort William Gardens)
Photo credit: Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com