BY CLAIRE CUDAHY
The English River Miners kicked off the 2014-2015 season with back-to-back games against the Dryden Ice Dogs this past weekend, resulting in a two-game winning streak for the Ice Dogs.
At the Ear Falls Arena on Friday, the Miners grabbed a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes with goals by Richard Dartnell and Cody Colby.
Layne Anderson made it 3-0 with six and half minutes to go in the middle stanza, but the Ice Dogs struck back with four goals before the second session, and held the Miners 3-4 for the remainder of the game.
Ryan Scott put Dryden on the board at 14:03, followed by three goals in a span of just over a minute.
John Philley scored at 18:07, Cole Golka tied things up on a power play 40 seconds later, and Matt Houston sunk the last shot at 19:53 that would be the final, gaming-winning goal for the Ice Dogs.
“Our team is very young yet so I think it is going to take a little bit of time for them to adapt to playing junior hockey and the style that they need to play to be successful at this level,” says Kevin Kahoot, head coach and general manager for the Miners. “I think we played with a lot of enthusiasm, especially Friday night at home.”
Game two against the Dryden Ice Dogs took place on Saturday at the Memorial Arena. The final score was 10-1, a resounding victory for the Ice Dogs on their home opener.
Dominic Blouin had the lone goal for the Miners on Saturday.
Kahoot attributes the tough game to the loss of three of the team’s leaders to injuries. Ian Bablitz suffered a concussion on Friday night’s game, benching him for Saturday. Early in the first period Ryker Moreau was out due to a lower body injury as was Cody Colby who experienced a shoulder injury.
“We had to give a lot more ice time to the younger kids than I normally would and it really showed. They were just a little overwhelmed with playing catch-up hockey and the speed of the game and how physical the game was,” explains Kahoot.
The injured Miners will be assessed this week to determine when they can get back on the ice. According to Kahoot, the Miners will also be looking to add more players to the roster in early October as they become available.
The next game for the English River Miners will be against the Minnesota Iron Rangers on Friday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Ear Falls Arena.