Published: April 26, 2017
BY NSN STAFF
The Bill Salonen Cup was awarded in Cochenour on Apr. 20 as the Dryden GM Ice Dogs cinched the Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL) with a 7-3 victory over the English River Miners.
Taking the best-of-seven final in four straight games, the Ice Dogs move on to represent the league in the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canadian Jr. A Championship, May 2-6, in Trenton, Ont.
After loosing to the Ice Dogs in front of a hometown crowd on Apr. 18 the Miners came out quickly last Thursday, notching the night’s opening tally 44 seconds into the contest after breaking out of their own zone where Dante Raposo saucered a pass over to Austin Kuhn on the right side, who skated in a snapped the first shot of the game past Dryden starter Patrick Zubick.
Dryden countered with the equalizer at 4:06 with Nic Noseworthy redirecting a left point blast from Tristan Knott that changed direction and eluded Michael Lenko in the Miners’ net.
The SIJHL’s most valuable player in Allkins put the GM Ice Dogs in front four minutes later as was the trailer on a play where the puck found him open in front as he lifted in the go ahead effort past a sprawled Lenko.
English River would draw level at 17:36 of the first thanks to a Raposo power play marker, only see to Allkins strike again just 30 seconds later to put the visitors back in front.
The GM Ice Dogs would double the lead to 4-2 in the latter stages of the middle stanza right off a clean face-off win by Jacen Bracko that was quickly wired by Derek Phail, who blasted a hard shot past Lenko at 17:02.
A free-wheeling start to the third period saw the home side pull to within 4-3 compliments of Colton Johnson, but Dryden connected quickly yet again with Matt Leniuk supplying his first of the playoffs a mere 14 seconds after that before the stanza was a minute old.
The GM Ice Dogs added some insurance midway through the final frame connecting moments after another face-off win as Cory Dennis snapped one from the right point that sailed through a crowd and founds its way into the back of the net.
Down by three with five minutes to go, the Miners pulled their goaltender in an effort to get back into it, but Noseworthy secured Dryden’s third SIJHL title in their 16-year history to finish things off.
The GM Ice Dogs held the edge in shots by a 40-28 count with Zubick posting his eighth straight playoff victory for the GM Ice Dogs while Lenko suffered the season-ending loss for English River.
Ice Dogs take commanding lead in Game 3
The Dryden GM Ice Dogs erupted for four tallies in a span of a minute and 22 seconds late in the second period to bust open a one-goal game as they went on to thump the English River Miners 8-2 Tuesday evening in Game 3 at Cochenour Arena.
Dryden picked up the night’s opening tally seven minutes into the contest as Braeden Allkins forced a turnover along the end boards deep in Miners’ territory then darted towards the net where he fired a crisp pass to Nic Noseworthy, who chipped his attempt past English River starter Michael Lenko.
The GM Ice Dogs upped their lead later in the frame striking quickly off a face-off win, which allowed Matthew Pitchenese to bury the rebound off a Chris Atanas attempt at 13:57.
The visitors then used a fortuitous bounce to add another before the first period was complete as a harmless looking dump in from centre ice by Garrett Giertuga skipped off the ice and took a crazy hop and beat a surprised Lenko.
English River picked up a fortunate bounce of their own just past the 12-minute mark of the second stanza to get on the board with Michael Di Lullo getting credit for a Miners’ power play goal that was lifted towards the net and slipped past Patrick Zubick in the Dryden net.
Another man advantage allowed the home side to pull within one as Dante Raposo neatly deflected a Trevor Pereverzoff right point snap shot to make it 3-2 at 14:52.
However the GM Ice Dogs answered right back to begin their rapid offensive onslaught with a power play tally of their own as Allkins finished off a nice give-and-go with Derek McPhail as the SIJHL MVP one-timed a quick shot from the slot.
Going right back to the man advantage, Dryden’s McPhail tacked on another 38 seconds later.
The GM Ice Dogs continued to press causing a couple of defensive breakdowns and they capitalized on the Miners’ miscues and struck twice more to blow it open compliments of Jacen Bracko and another by Pitchenese to cap off the visitors’ outburst and spell the end of Lenko’s night is favour of Spencer Eschyschyn.
Dryden tacked on another off a partial breakaway early in the third as Garrett Graham darted down the right wing before cutting in and tucking his chance past Eschyschyn to round out the scoring.
Zubick made 28 saves with the win, improving to 7-0 in the postseason while Lenko suffered the loss allowing seven against on 25 attempts.
Eschyschyn meanwhile stopped 13 of 14 in relief.
(seen here) Miners gather to shake hands after Game for on Apr. 20. Photo Credit: Michael Christianson