In their search of the first Superior International Junior Hockey League Bill Salonen Cup championship since 2008, the Dryden Ice Dogs hit the ice at home against the English River Miners who were making their first-ever appearance in franchise history in the league final on April 14th in post – season action.
Chris Atanas fires his second of the post – season 5:56 into the opening period to give the hosts a 1 – 0 lead with Matthew Pitchenese and Braeden Allkins adding the helpers on Atanas’ goal. At 13:39 of the middle stanza, Allkins brings Dryden’s lead to 2 – o with Cory Dennis and Derek McPhail drawing the contributors on Allkins’ power play goal. Miner Austin Kuhn finds the back of Ice Dog goaltender Patrick Zubick’s net 15:33 into the period to bring English River within one on a visitor power play. Zach Schlitt and Sidney Gladue had the assists on Kuhn’s power play marker. With 1:18 left in the period with his third of the post – season, Trey Palmero sends the Ice Dogs into the second intermission up 3 – 1 for Dryden with Dennis and Cody Wardner setting Palmero’s goal.
With an unassisted goal 13 seconds before the halfway mark of the final period, Braedyn Aubin registers his second of the play – offs for the Ice Dogs. At ten minutes even, Braedan Pearce scores the Miners second of the contest to bring English River within two, Dante Tisi had the contributor on Pearce’s goal. With 56 seconds left in the game and the Miners with an extra attacker, Aubin sinks his second of the game on an English River empty net to give Dryden a 5 – 2 win over the Miners. Dryden goaltender turned away 16 of 18 shots in game one of the Bill Salonen championship series.
After scoring two goal in game one, Ice Dog Braedyn Aubin told the Junior Hockey Network that “It was obviously big to win game one, we left them in the game way too long and need to come out tomorrow and play to our full potential. We were too lenient tonight, we get our chances when we pressure them right away to force a turnover and we need alot more of that.”
Game two will be back in Dryden on April 15th when the Ice Dogs and Miners meet at 7:30 p.m (CST) at the Dryden Memorial Arena.