By Michael Christianson
The Dryden GM Ice Dogs took their first steps to what they hope is a repeat championship with training camp at the Memorial Arena over the weekend.
Players hoping to make the team ran drills and practices for three hours at a time on Friday and Saturday before an intrasquad game on Sunday.
Team Bruetsch in the blue jerseys put up a tough effort but lost 12-10 to Team Ouellette in the white jerseys.
Dryden local Graham Oliphant tried out for the team after two years with the Kenora Thistles and he, like many of the players, was happy to be back on the ice and getting out the kinks.
He said training camp has been hard work so far but he is looking forward to a year in the SIJHL.
“Longer season, you get more games and you get to meet more new guys, I just think it’s going to be a fun year playing at home especially,” said Oliphant.
Returning Drydenite Trey Palermo said that with a guaranteed shot at the Dudley Hewitt Cup the team needs to put the work in to win the prize again.
“I think right now we’re looking good, as the days go by, we were better the second day for sure just have to get the rust out,’ said Palermo.
Joining the team from Vancouver this year is defenceman Brendan Jay who played last year for the Soo Thunderbirds. The 20 year old hopes to bring his physicality to the team and he knows there are high expectations on the team.
“Honestly it’s an honour being here considering they’re hosting the Dudley this year and how they’ve been doing the last couple of years, how Kurt has, from what I’ve seen, turned the team around. He’s doing a great job with the team he’s got here,” said Jay.
Jay thanks the city of Dryden for a warm welcome and he hopes to bring the Bill Salonen cup home this year, as well as the Dudley and the RBC Cup.