Dryden Ice Dogs and Wisconsin Lumberjacks players compete for a loose puck off a face-off in Dryden, ON October 29, 2021. (Credit: Kerri-Ann Kanceruk)

Ice Dogs Kick of Weekend With Big Win over Lumberjacks

By: Jay-D Haughton

Oct 29, 2021

It has been 604 days since the Wisconsin Lumberjacks (3-7-1-0) made the trip north from Spooner to Dryden to take on the Ice Dogs (5-5-1-0).

The last time these two teams faced off was back on March 4, 2021, where Dryden won a 4-3 overtime decision.

Before the game, Lumberjack’s bench boss Douglas Lein shared his and the team’s excitement for finally being able to venture back into Canada,

“It’s great, I think it’s been a long time coming, it’s big. It’s been 20 months. For us to cross the border and be back has been huge. I’m just happy to be back and happy to cross the border,” said Lein.

Last night (October 29, 2021) the two teams met in a very spirited Superior International Junior Hockey League matchup at the Dryden Memorial Arena.

It was a scoring affair for the Dogs as they cracked their two-game losing streak with an 8-2 win over the visiting Lumberjacks.

Dryden’s newest acquisition Winnipeg native and ex OCN Blizzard, Evan Van Laeken made his first SIJHL start between the pipes.

His counterpart on the other end was Charles Beehler who was making his third start of this young season.

As soon as the puck dropped to start the game the Ice Dogs were all over the Lumberjacks on the forecheck.

That hard work paid off just over two minutes into the game as Slovakian Ondrej Bardos picked up his first as an Ice Dog, with a shot from the goal line that somehow found its way through the arm of Wisconsin goalie Charles Beehler.

Fifty-six seconds after the Ice Dogs opened the scoring, New Albany, Ohio product Salvator Poggiali was able to put home a pass from Ryder McMillen below the goal line for his second of the season.

Just under a minute later, Dryden GM retook the lead with Tristan Takats catching a puck out of mid-air and putting it into the wide-open cage for his third of the year.

The play quieted down after three goals in just under two minutes to start the frame.

That ended with eight minutes left in the period as Lang Lee flew down the left wing, his original shot was blocked, but got his own rebound and put it under the bar for his second of the year to make it 3-1 Ice Dogs.

In the period the Lumberjacks went 0-3 on the powerplay.

That’s how the period ended as Dryden led 3-1 after 20 minutes.

Shots were 15-14 in favour of Wisconsin in the first period.

The scoring continued in the second period for Dryden. Tristan Takats picked up his second of the game on the powerplay through a screened Wisconsin goalie.

Rachonne Henry was able to redirect a Jackson Jaques shot between the legs of Beehler for his third of the year and extended Dryden’s lead to 5-1.

Beehler’s night was over as he gave up five goals on 21 shots, Kyler Lowden took over between the pipes.

After the Lumberjacks were unable to clear their own zone, Max Rath picked off a pass and buried it over the pads of Lowden.

Under a minute later Takats would notch his hat-trick goal after he was sprung on a breakaway and pulled off a one-handed deke, Ice Dogs were up 7-1.

A late penalty for Wisconsin led to a powerplay goal for Rath, his second of the game to give Dryden an 8-1 lead after 40 minutes.

Wisconsin did have their chances as a 3 on 1 resulted in a post along with a breakaway that went array.

Dryden went 2 /4 on the powerplay in the second period.

Dryden led in the shot department after two periods hammering 24 shots in the frame, with Wisconsin adding nine of their own.

Caden Phelps was able to get one back for the Lumberjacks in the third, as he took a pass from Jack Eckholm and was able to put it blocker side on Van Laeken.

That was all the scoring in the third period. The final shot count was 47-29 in favour of Dryden GM.

Van Laeken picked up his first win as an Ice Dog as he turned aside 28 shots.

In relief, Lowden gave up three goals on 24 shots.

Wisconsin finished the game 0 for 7 on the powerplay.

Post-game Lein did have some positives to say after the lop-sided game.

“You start to figure out the problems pretty quick, you want to see a positive is you see the negative. You can’t fix problems unless you see them, and we won the third,” added Lein.

Tonight Dryden was led by Tristan Takats with three goals, Max Rath with two, Bardos, Henry, and Lang with a goal apiece.

Following the game, Ice Dogs head coach Kurt Walsten spoke on how the team will tackle Kam River tonight.

“We have to work hard to be successful. Kam River is skilled enough where they will make you pay. Everyone has a job to do in our room. Our gameplan is to try to beat Kam River. We’re ready to go,” explained Walsten.

The next game for the Ice Dogs will be tonight as they host the Kam River Fighting Walleye.

Wisconsin will travel west up to Red Lake for their first matchup against the Miners tonight.

Three Stars:

  1. Tristan Takats (Dryden GM Ice Dogs) Three goals
  2. Max Rath (Dryden GM Ice Dogs) Two goals
  3. Ondrej Bardos (Dryden GM Ice Dogs) One goal