By Tanner Schafer
Spooner, WI – The Wisconsin Lumberjacks rode the hot hand of goaltender Kyler Lowden to a 5-3 victory over the Dryden GM Ice Dogs on Saturday night.
The game started as a lot of Dryden games do with penalties being assessed early on. 4 Dryden minor penalties in the 1st half of the 1st period led to 3 Wisconsin power play goals. Cooper Mcclure secured the 1st on a 5 on 3 with Zach Carson and Simon Davidson picking up the assists. Carson would score the 2nd just under a minute later with helpers going to Salvatore Poggiali and Dylan Jouppi. The 3rd was scored by Connor McClure and assists went to Ryan Kayser and Dillon Phillips. The power play goals wouldn’t stop there as Dryden would score one of their own off the stick of Jordan Pfoh with assists going to Easton Debray and Brady Frattinger. The Ice Dogs goal held as the final of the period making it 3-1 heading into the 2nd.
The last 2 periods are when Kyler Lowden began to shine in goal for the Lumberjacks. Dryden held a shot edge in every single period, but it was significant in the 2nd and 3rd with the numbers being 19-9 and 17-5 respectively. The Ice Dogs started off the 2nd by replacing goaltender Zac MacDonald with Eric Clark. Both goalies looked to be locked in as 19 minutes went off the clock without a goal but that all changed in the last minute. McLaren Paulsen beat Lowden with a shorthanded goal off a Ben Hackl face off win to bring the game back within 1. It looked as though the Lumberjacks were headed to the locker room with another disappointing 2nd period, something that has been a consistent problem as of late, but Cooper McClure was able to give them back 2 goal lead with just 5 seconds left. McClure skated hard up the far side of the ice receiving a pass from Connor Hacker and beating Clark for a power play goal the Lumberjacks 4th of the game.
In the 3rd it was more Dryden domination with Lowden being forced to make multiple acrobatic saves. 4 minutes into the final frame the Ice Dogs would make it a game once more as McKale Paul would score to make it 4-3. Assists on the goal went to Tyler Earl and Kaden Bandura. Despite only having 5 shots on goal in the period the Lumberjacks would answer back exactly 2 minutes later as Cooper McClure secured his hat trick with an assist going to his twin brother Connor. The Lumberjacks would hold on the rest of the way earning the win and 2 points.
Lowden stopped 46 of 49 shots and got the win. Zac MacDonald saved 7 of 10. Eric Clark stopped 12 in 2 periods of relief. Cooper McClure’s hat trick secured 1st star of the game, Kyler Lowden was 2nd star, and Zach Carson picked up 3rd star with a goal and an assist.