SUPERIOR INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
SIJHL MEDIA UPDATE
Release Date: Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016
SIJHL preseason preview: Dryden GM Ice Dogs
THUNDER BAY, Ont. – The final Superior International Junior Hockey League team preseason preview features an original member of the SIJHL, the Dryden GM Ice Dogs.
After two consecutive appearances in the Bill Salonen Cup finals, Dryden will look to take it one step further in 2016-17 as they will attempt to capture their first SIJHL title since 2008.
With head coach Kurt Walsten adding the general manager’s duties to his portfolio this season he’s put together the GM Ice Dogs roster that looks to improve on last year’s 33-15-4-4 record, which was the second-best in the league in 2015-16.
The club is boosted by the return of three of their top four point producers from last season along with goaltender Taylor Unruh, who won 17 games for the club in 2015-16.
DRYDEN GM ICE DOGS
Head Coach/GM: Kurt Walsten (3rd season)
Last season’s record: 33-15-4-4 (2nd overall)
SIJHL: What can your fans expect to see from your club this season?
KURT WALSTEN: I think we’ll be fast and highly skilled. We will also be a hard working team with good size.
SIJHL: Who are some of the players you expect to lead your team this season?
KW: Like they did last year for us we expect Derek McPhail, Braeden Allkins and Nic Noseworthy all to have solid seasons.
McPhail is our captain and led our team in scoring last season with 56 points. Allkins was right behind him with 54 points while Noseworthy was fourth with 44. Derek and Nic also tied for the team-lead in goals with 23 each.
On the back end we hope to see big things from newcomers Cory Dennis and Tristan Knott. Dennis played in the NA3HL and also in the NAHL. Knott was in our league last season with the Iron Rangers.
SIJHL: Who are a couple of returning players you expect big things from?
KW: It all starts with our captain Derek McPhail. He along with Braeden Allkins and Nic Noseworthy are the guys that need to lead the way for us if we want to be successful.
SIJHL: Who are some of the newcomers you’ve signed that you’ve been impressed with?
KW: Mark Sanchez is a forward who played U-18 with the Green Bay Jr. Gamblers. He had 25 points in 57 games and scored nine times and had 16 assists. He was the best two-way in his league last year.
Jace Bracko is another forward who is highly skilled. He played Jr. B in Alberta for the Strathmore Wheat Kings. He had 61 points in 39 games, including 34 goals.
We also have Trey Palermo, a Dryden-born kid that played midget AAA with Kenora Thistles last year. He’s another forward who had 46 points by scoring 23 times and having 23 assists.
SIJHL: What do you expect from all your players heading into the 2016-17 campaign?
KW: We want and expect to be the hardest working team in the league.
SIJHL: What is one feature you feel your club will provide this seen?
KW: We want to provide an entertaining brand of hockey.
SIJHL: What goals and expectations do you have heading into the start of the regular season and beyond?
KW: Our goals are to win the league and bring the Bill Salonen Cup back to Dryden. Our expectations are to be the hardest working team in the league and never get out worked.
Dryden begins their 16th season in the SIJHL Friday as they host the English River Miners in a 7:30 p.m. start at Memorial Arena.