Dryden extends lead atop SIJHL standings

HOYT LAKES, Minn. – The Dryden GM Ice Dogs picked up two goals from Trevor Kavanaugh while netminder Jacob Gnidziejko turned in a 27-save shutout to lead their side to a 4-0 triumph over the Minnesota Iron Rangers Sunday evening in Superior International Junior Hockey League play at Hoyt Lakes Arena.

The contest was scoreless until deep into the first period when Dryden struck late in the session to go up 1-0 after one.

Using strength in numbers after a Minnesota player lost his balance in the neutral zone, the GM Ice Dogs and worked the puck over to Evan Walls, who cut in, made a quick deke and stuffed his 23rd of the season past the outstretched pad of Iron Rangers’ netminder Tyler Thompson.

The visitors then added to their lead at 6:07 of the middle session as Dryden captain Kavanaugh snapped one from the corner on a sharp angle that fooled Thompson as it sailed into the top of the net.

Minnesota had a great chance to get on the board midway through the second stanza as Zac Horn scooped up the puck off a defender and darted in on a breakaway, only to be denied by twice by Gnidziejko.

Like they did in the opening frame, the GM Ice Dogs tacked on another late marker in the middle session with Matthew Pitchenese corralling a rebound off a Jacen Bracko shot and calmly moving right and tucking in his sixth of the campaign with 1:15 remaining.

Dryden kept in going in the third with Kavanaugh playing forward in the contest saw him left alone in front and he roofed a Walls feed into the top right hand corner to put his side up by four and round out the scoring.

The shutout for Gnidziejko was his third of season helping the league-leading GM Ice Dogs move three points clear of the second place Thief River Falls Norskies in the league standings.

As for Thompson, he was peppered with 52 shots against in defeat for the Iron Rangers.

Photo credit: Cherie Grams