THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. – The Thief River Falls Norskies stormed back from a two-goal deficit to pull out a 5-3 triumph over the visiting Dryden GM Ice Dogs Friday in Superior International Junior Hockey League play at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Some impressive work and forechecking by Dryden’s Josh Weber resulted in him notching his first SIJHL goal at 11:34 of the first frame as he eventually moved into the left face off circle and snapped a shot under the arm of Norskies starter Seth Purcilly.
The GM Ice Dogs came right back and got another to go up by a pair as a give-and-go helped Evan Pakkala fire one in from the high slot.
Starting their comeback in the second stanza, Thief River Falls broke out on an odd-man rush that resulted in recently acquired Isaac Baron collecting his first for his new side at 10:28.
They then drew level late in the frame as Jack Michels picked up his first SIJHL goal, which came during a power play, as he finished off a Baron cross-crease feed.
It was more from Baron, 5:24 into the third, as he put the Norskies in front with his second of the night as he deftly redirected a Connor Kalthoff shot from the right point.
The hosts then got the eventual game-winner from Bryce Johnson as he put in a Zach Ross attempt from just inside the Dryden blueline.
Going to the power play a couple shifts later, the GM Ice Dogs’ Huemmert collected his second of the evening as he jammed in a round off a shot that hit the post.
Dryden then pulled netminder Jacob Anthony in the late going for an extra attacker, but Joe Collins of Thief River Falls intercepted a play and sealed the home win with an empty netter in the final minute.
Newcomers Baron and Michels had three points apiece in the victory.
The Norskies held a big edge in shots by a 57-29 count with Purcilly picking up the win while Anthony made 52 stops in defeat.
Saturday sees the two sides meeting again back at The Ralph. Game time is 7 p.m.
Photo credit: Tim Benton