First place in the Superior International Junior Hockey League was the prize as Dryden completed a weekend sweep over host Thief River Falls.
The GM Ice Dogs took a 5-4 shoot-out decision Saturday and walked away with a 6-2 victory Sunday. They share the SIJHL lead with Thunder Bay with 30 points each. The Norskies remain fourth in the six-team league with 17 points – six behind third place English River and four ahead of fifth place Fort Frances.
A potential series-opening win slipped through Thief River Falls’ hands Saturday when Dryden tied the game on a goal by Nic Noseworthy with one second left in regulation time.
A five-minute 3-on-3 overtime failed to break the deadlock, setting up the shoot-out that went to the Ice Dogs 2-1.
Neither side scored on their first two shoot-out attempts before Derek McPhail of Dryden and Reily McIntosh of Thief River Falls matched goals in Round 3.
The winner came from the Ice Dogs’ Braedyn Aubin in the fourth set of shooters when the Norskies failed to find the net.
With the goal coming from Logan Jackson in the second period, Thief River Falls trailed 3-1 before staging a third period rally that included goals by Tommy Stang, Michael Johnson and Connor Smith.
Thief River Falls is 0-3 in shoot-out games this season.
The game drew an announced crowd of 1,193 people.
Sunday, Dryden turned a 2-0 first period lead into a 3-0 second period advantage, then doubled the spread in the third period before Thief River Falls came up with late goals by Connor Bowey and Johnson.
The game was slowed by 30 penalties that totaled 66 minutes.
Thief River Falls’ Thanksgiving week schedule started with a Tuesday trip to Hoyt Lakes for a match-up with the Minnesota Iron Rangers and ends with a Saturday night contest vs. Fort Frances at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Dryden 5, TRF 4
First period – Dryden, Sam Marit (Jake Gushue), 19:08.
Second period – TRF, Logan Jackson (Reily McIntosh, Tommy Stang), 4:13; Dryden, Mark Sanchez, 14:38. Third period – Dryden, Braedyn Aubin (Eric Stout, Jacen Bracko), 3:19; TRF, Stang (McIntosh, Cameron Jones), 7:58; TRF, Michael Johnson (Jones), 9:14; TRF, Connor Smith (Stang), 10:56; Dryden, Nic Noseworthy (Eric Stout, Derek McPhail), 19:59.
Overtime – no scoring.
Shoot-out – (Round 1) no goals; (Round 2) no goals; (Round 3) Dryden, McPhail; TRF, McIntosh; (Round 4) Dryden, Aubin.
Goalie saves – TRF, Ryan Buttazzoni 21; Dryden, Patrick Zubick 26.
Penalties – TRF, 5 (13 minutes); Dryden 10 (26 minutes).
Attendance – 1,193.
Dryden 6, TRF 2
First period – Dryden, Nic Noseworthy (Jacen Bracko, Braedyn Aubin), 2:04; Dryden, Woody Galbraith (Braeden Allkins, Trey Palermo), 11:03.
Second period – Dryden, Derek McPhail (Jake Gushue, Noseworthy), 5:43.
Third period – Dryden, Allkins (Tristan Knott), 1:07; Dryden, Bracko (Cody Wardner), 6:47; Dryden, Allkins (Galbraith, Sam Marit), 11:52; TRF, Connor Bowey (Tommy Stang, Connor Schuster), 16:51; TRF, Michael Johnson (Bowey, Keaton Huot), 17:32..
Goalie saves – TRF, Sam Novak 26; Dryden, Patrick Zubick 26.
Penalties – TRF 13 (26 minutes); Dryden 17 (40 minutes).