SUPERIOR INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
SIJHL MEDIA UPDATE
Release Date: Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Photo credit: Clint Bruyere
McPhail’s OT winner sends Dryden to Bill Salonen Cup Final with series win over Fort Frances
FORT FRANCES, Ont. – A Derek McPhail goal with 41 seconds left in the first overtime propelled the Dryden GM Ice Dogs to a dramatic 2-1 victory over the Fort Frances Lakers Tuesday in Game 4 of their semifinal series at Ice for Kids Arena.
With the outcome, the GM Ice Dogs wins the best-of-seven set 4-0 and will now meet the winner of other league semifinal series between the Thunder Bay North Stars and English River Miners in the Bill Salonen Cup final. That series is currently tied at 1-1 heading into Game 3 Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Cochenour Arena.
Prior to the start of Tuesday’s contest there a moving pre-game tribute in memory of Lakers’ assistant coach and assistant general manager Grant Perreault who lost his courageous and valiant battle with cancer Saturday.
First period play was scoreless as the two clubs took the 0-0 count into the middle stanza.
Dryden opened the scoring 2:49 into the middle stanza as Jacen Bracko and Braedyn Aubin did some good work deep in Fort France territory before Bracko fed Nic Noseworthy at the point, who fired a shot that hit a Lakers’ defender and went past Brandon Bodnar in the Fort Frances net.
Fort Frances drew level six minutes into the third as Brandon Zajicek chipped the puck up to a streaking Lakers’ captain Dylan Kooner who flew down the right wing and wired the equalizer over the blocker of Dryden goalkeeper Patrick Zubick.
Both goaltenders were solid the remainder of regulation and throughout extra time before Dryden prevailed off a nice back pass off a rebound that found the stick of Dryden captain McPhail to the right of Bodnar as he quickly fired home the game-winner to end the series.
SIJHL most valuable player Braden Allkins and Kris Hamlin drew assists on the decider.
Zubick made 38 saves to post the win for Dryden while Bodnar was stellar in the season-ending defeat facing 51 shots on the night.
The setback ends a tremendous run by the Fort Frances Lakers than saw them advance to five consecutive SIJHL finals while winning the last three Bill Salonen Cup league championships.
SIJHL semifinal (Series B)
No. 1 Dryden GM Ice Dogs vs. No. 5 Fort Frances Lakers
Dryden wins best-of-seven series 4-0
Game 1: Dryden 6 Fort Frances 4
Game 2: Dryden 7 Fort Frances 1
Game 3: Dryden 5 Fort Frances 1
Game 4: Dryden 2 Fort Frances 1 (OT)