Article By SIJHL
Photo by Patrick Boucha
November 13, 2020
It’s been an extraordinarily long time since the Red Lake Miners and the Dryden Ice Dogs took to the ice for any meaningful competition, but that didn’t necessarily translate into the rust one might have expected to see from teams that haven’t faced an opponent since the pandemic forced the cancellation of last year’s SIJHL season in March.
While the modifications to the play of the game made necessary to conform with health requirements were evident, the players didn’t let that get in the way of an entertaining and spirited affair that saw the Miners prevail 6-5 in a high-scoring affair.
Special teams were on full display with the teams combining for a total of five power play goals plus a short-handed tally.
Despite an early territorial advantage for the Ice Dogs, it was the Miners that struck first off the stick of Brady Harroun who converted a nice pass from Ryan Howe on the power play. Dryden evened the score with a power play marker of their own courtesy of Cameron Ware with assists going to Kody Gibbs and Evan Pakkala.
The teams exchanged goals 30 seconds apart – Dimitri Buttazzoni for the Miners and Brett Cameron for the Ice Dogs – in the dying minutes of the first to knot the score at 2 apiece at the first intermission.
Pakkala then gave Dryden their only lead of the game with a short-handed goal 23 seconds into the second but Red Lake regained a one-goal lead with two quick ones in the back half of the second courtesy of Jordan Baranesky and Tyler Gibson, both on the power play, giving the Miners a 4-3 lead after 2.
The teams traded even-strength goals early in the third. with Xavier Halterman tying it for the Ice Dogs only to relinquish the lead back to the home team with a goal from Alim Darmenov.
Red Lake stretched the lead to two – the largest in the game by either team – when Harrow added his second of the night and eventual game winner with help from Mario Decapite.
Dryden would pull within one with Max Rath converting a 5-on-3 power play opportunity, but the Miners held off a frenzied attack from the Ice Dogs as time expired with their goalie pulled in favour of an extra attacker.
Dryden finished the game going 2 for 9 on the power play, and Red Lake went 3 for 9.
The two teams meet again on Saturday November 14th, this time in Dryden.