With their last game of the 2017 before heading in the 2017 – 2018 Superior International Junior Hockey League Christmas break, the second place (19-3-4-1) Dryden Ice Dogs hosted the third place (16-9-3) Thunder Bay North Stars on December 20th at the Dryden Memorial Arena.
1:09 into the first, veteran Ice Dog Trey Palermo fires his ninth of the season to give Dryden a 1 – 0 lead with Brendan Jay and Matt Pitchenese adding the contributors on Palermo’s goal. 40 seconds before the halfway mark of first, Bradley Thrower finds the back of Ice Dog goaltender London Pavlisin’s net to even the game 1 – 1 with Keighan Gerrie and Joe Newhouse setting up Thrower’s power play goal. With Dryden on a power play, Cory Dennis sinks the go – ahead goal 7:17 into the second period with Burke Johnstone registering the Ice Dogs second of the contest. Ice Dog goaltender sends a pass to Jacen Bracko to bring the hosts lead to 3 – 1 on a Dryden power play at 10:37 of the second period. Scoring his second of the game 6:03 into the second was Thunder Bay’s Brad Thrower with Keighan Gerrie adding the helper on Thrower’s goal.
Eric Stout had the assist on Evan Walls’ goal at 18:41 of the period to bring the lead to 4 – 2. With 37 seconds left in the period, Alec Maticic sends the North Stars into the second intermission within one. Brendan Gillis drew the helper on Maticic’s goal. 2:18 into the final period, Carson Lux sinks the Ice Dogs fifth of the game to bring the lead to 5 – 3 with Wyatt Lawrence and Woody Galbraith adding the contributors on Lux’s second of the season. At 17:10 of the third, Thrower finds the back of the Ice Dogs net to register his first hat trick of the 2017 – 2018 season with an unassisted North Star goal. Dryden’s goaltender Landon Pavlisin turned away 29 of 33 shots in the Ice Dogs 5 – 4 win over Thunder Bay.
Veteran Ice Dog Jacen Bracko told the Junior Hockey Network that “it is nice way to go into the break on a winning streak. We got out to a two goal lead but kept letting them back in. In the end it was a close game but we were able to pull out the win.”
Dryden will open up 2018 half of the season in Red Lake, Ontario on January 3rd against the fourth place English River Miners in a 7:30 p.m (CST) start.