By Gary Moskalyk
Thunder Bay, On – Dryden crafted a 2-0 lead over 57 minutes and survived a late Thunder Bay surge to defeat the North Stars 3-2 to complete a mid-week sweep.
The Ice Dogs are in second place with games in hand and are on a three-game winning streak. Thunder Bay dropped their second in a row and dropped to 11-8-3. Both Dryden and Thunder Bay have played 22 games, less than any other teams in the SIJHL.
Weather permitting, Dryden has a weekend home-and-home with Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay entertains Wisconsin to close out 2022.
Max Roby scored his 9th of the season from the high slot at 17:57 of the first and Tyler Earl fired in his 4th unassisted at 5:02 of the third after a scoreless second for a 2-0 lead.
Dryden goalie Eric Clark tacked on 23 more saves to his 31-save no goals allowed performance from Tuesday for a seemingly comfortable lead with time winding down. Ben Hackl rumbled down for a grade ‘A’ Dryden chance on a shorthanded breakaway that Conner Lemieux stymied.
After a missed North Star powerplay Matt Halushak found the twine with 3:05 left to put the outcome in doubt.
Kaden Bandura scored into an empty net to make it 3-1, but Nolan Desjardins collected a rebound and ripped it home with half a minute left for a last gasp.
Clark made 25 stops to up his record to 10-5-0. Lemieux handled 32 of 34.
Earl added an assist for two points for Dryden.
Dryden was 0-5 with the extra man while Thunder Bay was 0-6.
Kaden Bandura was the 1st star of the game, Tyler Earl earned 2nd star, and Nolan Desjardins secured 3rd star.
Attendance was 405.