A Ted Davis power play tally 49 seconds into the third period would be his third game-winner of the playoffs as the Dryden GM Ice Dogs rallied to defeat the Thunder Bay North Stars 3-2 in Game 6 of the Superior International Junior Hockey League’s Bill Salonen Cup final Saturday at the Fort William Gardens.
The result sees Dryden win their second consecutive SIJHL title, taking their latest crown in six games.
Shorthanded, the North Stars would open the scoring for the first time in the series as Thunder Bay netminder Brandon Bodnar steered it over to Ryan Mignault as he used a give-and-go and was sent in alone by Bradley Thrower on Dryden netminder Landon Pavlisin where he made a quick deke left and lifted in his ninth of the ppostseason midway through the first frame.
The North Stars added to their lead quickly in the second session as early pressure helped Turner Santin go high blocker side on Pavlisin 48 seconds into the stanza.
Dryden would capitalize off a face-off win midway through the second as Malcolm Huemmert ripped a shot off the crossbar and Kris Hamlin stuffed in the loose puck.
The GM Ice Dogs then tied it at 11:22 after winning another draw that allowed Matthew Pitchenese to snap the equalizer blocker side on Bodnar to knot the affair at 2-2.
Beginning the third period with a four skaters on three advantage, Dryden’s Davis found himself alone in the high slot where he buried his eighth postseason marker and third difference maker of the league championship series 55 seconds in to give the visitors the lead.
Thunder Bay would press to tie it the remainder of the frame, but Pavlisin stood tall in the GM Ice Dogs net, as he did all series, to help backstop his side to the victory.
The GM Ice Dogs outshot the North Stars 49-37 on the night with Pavlisin picking up the win while Bodnar suffered the loss.
Both clubs will return to the ice May 1 in Dryden as they host the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canadian Jr. A Championship.
Joining the two SIJHL sides at the four-team event will be the winners of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League and the Ontario Junior Hockey League.
The NOJHL Copeland Cup – McNamara Trophy final between the Rayside-Balfour Canadians and Cochrane Crunch is knotted at 2-2 as the Canadians host Game 5 Sunday afternoon while the OJHL match-up between the Wellington Dukes and Georgetown Raiders sees the Dukes up 3-2 with Game 6 going Sunday night in Wellington.