Ice Dogs survive late Lakers’ rally for win

Staff

The Dryden GM Ice Dogs saw the Fort Frances Lakers get a pair of goals with an extra-attacker late in regulation before regrouping and winning 3-2 in a shootout in SIJHL action yesterday afternoon at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Dryden (22-22-4) started off strong by notching markers in the back half of the first period with Justin Pitari scoring on an unassisted breakaway at 14:08 before Josh Weber collected his 21st before the frame expired to give the visitors a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Neither side would connect in a scoreless second stanza as the Ice Dogs carried their two-goal cushion into the third.
It stayed that way until the late going, when with Lakers’ goalie Dean Buchholz out for an extra attacker, Tyler Malpass banged one in at 18:48 to put the hosts on the board.
Pulling their netminder once more, the Lakers (18-24-3-2) were rewarded with the tying goal with 15 seconds remaining as Malpass potted his second straight marker off a feed from Kyle Uzelman to send it to OT.
Neither team converted in the extra frame, so the game went to the shootout to determine a winner.
Notching the lone effort in the extra shots was Dryden’s Nolan Marshall, who picked the corner to give his squad the narrow road win.
Ice Dogs’ goalie Jacob Anthony was solid, despite the two late ones against, as he finished with 45 stops, plus turning aside all three he saw in the shootout to get the win.
With 33 saves, Buchholz helped the Lakers earn a point in the narrow setback.
The Lakers had opened the weekend on Friday night with a 5-4 win over the Wisconsin Lumberjacks at the Ice For Kids Arena for their 18th victory of the season.
Fort Frances started strong with markers in the back half of the opening 20 minutes off the sticks of Brett Hahkala and Stone Stelzl, who notched his 16th with just 10 seconds left in the stanza.
Each team then connected twice in the second frame, beginning with a Joel Matthews effort for Wisconsin just over a minute in.
However, Peyton Hughes and Kiernan Bailey, on a five-on-three man advantage, countered for the Lakers to put them ahead 4-1.
The Lumberjacks (19-26-4-1) did get one of those back before the period came to a close as Ryan Green buried his 16th during a late power play.
In the third, Uzelman banged in the eventual game winner at 4:36 to put the hosts up 5-2.
Battling back, the Lumberjacks saw Dalton Garcia convert with his side up a skater from the right of the crease midway through the period before Matt Turnbull snapped one in with 2:20 from the slot to bring the guests back to within a goal.
However, the hosts held on from there to win their second straight game.
Lakers’ defenceman Matthew Dyck had a solid outing in collecting a pair of primary assists in the home ice win.
Buchholz made 36 saves to earn the win while Nathan Mueller faced 39 attempts in defeat for the Lumberjacks.
The last-place Lakers will resume action this Friday when they host the third-place Thief River Falls Norskies (26-19-3) at 7:30 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Fort Frances then will head to Wisconsin the following night to take on the Lumberjacks once again at the Spooner Civic Center.