Dryden gets past Fort Frances in shootout as SIJHL Showcase concludes

FORT FRANCES, Ont. – The Dryden GM Ice Dogs scored on two shootout attempts to help them edge Fort Frances Lakers 4-3 in the final game of the Superior International Junior Hockey League Showcase at Ice for Kids Arena.

The home side started strong in this one and they snagged a 2-0 lead after one period of play.

Ian Tookenay got Fort Frances going as he scored for a second straight game while supplying his eighth of the campaign 11:08 into the contest.

Adam Withers added to the Lakers’ lead four minutes later as he used an earlier assist to run a modest point streak to four while putting his side up by a pair heading into the middle frame.

Dryden cut into the deficit 16:58 into the second session thanks to Jacen Bracko, who buried his 31st goal and extended an impressive point streak to 15 straight outings in the process.

A shorthanded marker allowed the GM Ice Dogs to level proceedings early in the third as Evan Walls collected his club’s league-leading man down tally of 2017-18.

The visitors then went in front five minutes later as Dakotah Woods lifted a pass out that ticked off the stick of Woody Galbraith right to Huemmert in the high slot who slid in his 13th into the open side.

Then with time winding down and Fort Frances goaltender Ismael Ralsten on the bench in favour of an extra attacker, Tookenay’s second of night, coming with 47 seconds remaining in regulation helped send the contest to overtime.

Neither side would convert in the five-minute OT so the shootout was needed to decide a winner.

There Bracko, with a quick deke right, stuffed is his chance past the outstretched pad of Ralsten while Matthew Pitchenese ended it by ripping one in blocker side to give Dryden the win.

The GM Ice Dogs outshot the Lakers 48-32 on the night with Landon Pavlisin picking up the victory while Ralsten’s efforts helped Fort Frances earn a point.

This now sets up a highly-anticipated match-up this weekend as Dryden, who are 12-0-3 in their past 15 outings, travels to Thunder Bay to take on the North Stars, winners of eight straight, for games Friday and Saturday at the Fort William Gardens.

Photo credit: Clint Bruyere