HOYT LAKES, Minn. – A pair of second period power play goals, moments apart, proved pivotal as the Dryden GM Ice Dogs went on to defeat the Thief River Falls Norskies 5-2 Tuesday at the Superior International Junior Hockey League Showcase at Hoyt Lakes Arena.
Breaking out of their own zone on a three-on-two, Thief River Falls would open the scoring in the match-up at 12:40 of the first period when Blake Nelson snapped one past Dryden netminder Jacob Anthony from the left side.
The GM Ice Dogs answered later in the first when Jacob Siebenga forced a turnover at the Norskies blueline and chipped the puck up to Cameron Coutre whose attempt from the right wing trickled through Thief River Falls starter Fletcher Bolda and across the blueline.
Heading to the second stanza, Dryden tallied twice 22 seconds apart to go up 3-1.
Scoring initially was Braden Shea during a two-man advantage as he wired one from the left face-off dot and went top shelf to give the GM Ice Dogs the lead.
They then came right back, while still on the power play, and added other as Curtis Magas worked his way through to the slot and whipped one upstairs to extend the cushion, which they carried into the second intermission.
Up a skater themselves in the third, the Norskies moved back to within one after taking the draw, Jacob Schuldt sent a cross-ice feed over to Connor Bowey, who buried his chance from the left point at 7:25.
However, Dryden forced the puck loose once later that allowed Evan Pakkala to dart in alone on Bolda with the forward burying his chance with just under nine minutes to go.
It stayed that way until late stages when Coutre collected his second of the evening, with an empty net effort, at 19:25 to secure the victory.
Siebenga chipped in with two assists in aid the winners cause.
Shots on goal favoured the GM Ice Dogs by a 39-29 count with Anthony picking up the win and Bolda the loss.
With the outcome, Dryden improved to 19-13-3-1 to move to within four points of 21-13-3-1 Thief River Falls in the SIJHL standings.