DRYDEN, Ont. – A Ryan Howe short-side power play wrister midway through overtime was the decider as the unbeaten Red Lake Miners pulled out a narrow 6-5 decision over the Dryden GM Ice Dogs Saturday evening in Superior International Junior Hockey League action at Memorial Arena.
Red Lake got the night’s first marker, 8:11 into the contest, as Morgan Venne took a Leighton Holstein feed at the top of the crease and lifted a backhand over Dryden starter Dawson Rattai.
Going to the power play, the GM Ice Dogs tied it a couple minutes later when Curtis Magas let a shot go from the right point that clipped off Josh Gardner in front and skipped past Zach Willms in the Miners net.
Heading back to the man advantage, the home side connected again as Justin Pitari banked one in from a sharp angle.
Dryden tacked on their third extra man effort before the first frame was complete as Gardner added another as he buried one from close range.
Heading to the second stanza, the Miners would score three times to take a 4-3 edge into the third.
Tucker Evans, on a wrap around, started the outburst at 9:39 before Ravjir Sangha on a tip in and Ethan Stuckless with a redirection quickly into a power play accounted for the scoring in the session.
Red Lake then went up by pair half way through the third, while up a skater, when Sangha corralled the puck behind his own net then proceeded to go coast-to-coast and firing a shot into the top right-hand corner for a highlight reel tally.
Battling back, the GM Ice Dogs pulled to within one with five and a half minutes remaining as Pitari picked up his second of the night, knocking one in off a rebound of a Amraj Gill high attempt from just inside the Miners blueline.
He then completed his initial SIJHL hat trick with 2:52 remaining in regulation to force extra time as he took a Kendall Schulz cross-ice backhand, fired a shot that Willms stopped, but Pitari collected his own rebound and stuffed in his sixth of the season.
Picking up a power play in OT, Red Lake prevailed at 2:43 when Howe took a pass from Sangha in the left faceoff circle, gave a quick glance to the slot, before wiring one short-side on Rattai to end it.
Kyle Uzelman dished out three assists for the Miners in the triumph as did Xavier Halterman and Gill for Dryden.
Shots on goal on the night favoured the GM Ice Dogs 38-22 with Willms picking up the win as his club improved to 4-0 on the season while Rattai suffered the OT setback as his side slipped to 3-2-1 overall.
Photo credit: Kerri-Ann Kanceruk