Dryden takes Game 1 in semifinal match-up with Fort Frances



Release Date: Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Photo credit: Michael Christianson, Dryden Observer

Dryden takes Game 1 in semifinal match-up with Fort Frances

DRYDEN, Ont. – The Dryden GM Ice Dogs got a pair of goals from Derek McPhail and a marker and two assists from Kris Hamlin to help their side to a 6-4 victory over the Fort Frances Lakers Wednesday evening in Game 1 of their Superior International Junior Hockey League semifinal playoff series at Memorial Arena.

Next up in this best-of-seven set is Game 2, which will be played Thursday back in Dryden at 7:30 p.m.

In Wednesday’s tilt, the GM Ice Dogs got an early gift to open the scoring 61 seconds into the series.

It started as a Hamlin attempt from the left side bounced in and out of the catching glove of Lakers’ starter Brandon Bodnar right to an open Derek McPhail, who moments earlier, in a pre-game ceremony, heard it announced that Dryden was retiring his captain’s No. 21 jersey, fired home his first of the playoffs to set the tone offensively.

The GM Ice Dogs pressed the attack throughout the frame outshooting Fort Frances 15-5 in the session, but late in the stanza the visitors drew level as Brandon Zajicek snapped a shot from the right point that went through a screen and past Dryden netminder Patrick Zubick at 19:22.

The home side regained the lead five and a half minutes into the middle stanza as McPhail added his second of the night that was stuffed in from the side of Bodnar that was eventually signaled as a goal following some hesitation at the end of the play.

Dryden then went up 3-1 at 8:35 as Jake Gushue’s blast from just inside the blueline founds its way to an open Garrett Graham in the slot as he fired the puck in from close range.

The tallies kept coming with Fort Frances pulling back to within one as Hunter Buzzi sent Jack Bernie in alone on Zubick where his first shot was stopped, but the rebound was deposited into the open left side with 9:16 left in the session.

Gushue’s rocket from the blueline put the GM Ice Dogs back up by two as he unleashed a blast from the left side that flew into the Lakers’ net at 17:03.

The free-wheeling session saw Fort Frances get one more as a long stretch pass by Ryan Gazich found the tape of Matt Tustin who wheeled down the right wing and shot one past Zubick 37 seconds later.

A Dryden power play made it 5-3 as Hamlin darted around a couple of Lakers’ defenders and ripped a shot high blocker side on Bodnar from the slot.

Trey Palermo added another for the GM Ice Dogs as he wheeled around the Fort Frances net and lifted a chance that founds its way in.

A Maverick Lynes power play tally with from the point brought the guests closer, but it would be the final marker of the game as Dryden prevailed to take the opener.

The high-scoring affair shot the GM Ice Dogs also hold the edge in shots on goal by a 32-20 count with Zubick picking up the win and Bodnar the loss.

All SIJHL playoff games will be streamed live online at HockeyTV.com.

SIJHL semifinal (Series B)
No. 1 Dryden GM Ice Dogs vs. No. 5 Fort Frances Lakers
Dryden leads best-of-seven series 1-0
Game 1: Dryden 6 Fort Frances 4
Game 2: Thursday, March 30 @ Dryden 7:30 p.m. (Memorial Arena)
Game 3: Saturday, April 1 @ Fort Frances 7:30 p.m. (Ice for Kids Arena)
Game 4: Tuesday, April 4 @ Fort Frances 7:30 p.m. (Ice for Kids Arena)
Game 5*: Friday, April 7 @ Dryden 7:30 p.m. (Memorial Arena)
Game 6*: Monday, April 10 @ Fort Frances 7:30 p.m. (Ice for Kids Arena)
Game 7*: Wednesday, April 12 @ Dryden 7:30 p.m. (Memorial Arena)
*-if necessary