By Gary Moskalyk
Thunder Bay, ON – Dryden scored four powerplay goals in a five-goal second period to defeat Thunder Bay 5-4 before 867 fans at Fort William Gardens. The Ice Dogs can win the series in Dryden on Monday with a victory on home ice.
There were no goals in the first.
Dryden’s Landen Stromme struck for the second ‘Michigan’ of the SIJHL playoffs, beating Conner Lemieux just under the crossbar for his 7th of the playoffs–the first of four Dryden goals with the man advantage.
Max Roby went blocker side on Lemieux at 4:19 on assists from Stromme and Jordan Pfoh at 4:19 on the Ice Dogs’ second powerplay. Tyler Earl notched Dryden’s only even strength goal less than a minute later for a 3-0 lead. The Stars pulled Lemieux after the goal at 5:19 and inserted Keenan Marks.
Easton Glousher’s backhander got Thunder Bay on the board at 6:47, and Nikolas Campbell’s slap shot trickled through Eric Clark’s legs to pull the Stars to within one on a Thunder Bay powerplay effort.
The Ice Dogs scored two more powerplay markers in the second to re-establish their three-goal lead. Easton Debray’s first goal of the playoffs and Bryce Benfield’s third eight seconds into Dryden’s fourth man advantage opportunity had the Dogs heading into period three up by three.
The Stars tallied two relatively late in the game to make it close. Campbell got his 7th with a high blocker side wrister at 15:22 and Colby Feist got his 4th with 35 seconds left on a Stars’ powerplay with Marks out of the net. Thunder Bay played the rest of the game with the net empty but couldn’t penetrate to tie up.
Special teams were special on both sides. Dryden was 4-4 with the man advantage. Thunder Bay was 2-3. The Stars took four minors and the Ice Dogs three.
Clark made 39 stops for 7th win of the playoffs. Lemieux saved 17 of 20. Marks turned aside 14 of 16 and recorded the loss. Campbell added an assist and Feist had three-point night for Thunder Bay. Stromme had two points for Dryden.