The Dryden GM Ice Dogs made the cold trek up the 105 to face the English River Miners at the Cochenour Arena. 321 fans braved the cold weather to see the first game of 2018 for both teams. Jacob Gnidziejko would start in net for the Ice Dogs while Westin Cardwell fresh off a winter version of Planes, Trains & Automobiles made it back in time to get the start for the Miners.
The Dryden GM Ice Dogs would get the early jump in the game 2:56 into the first period. With Dante Tisi in the box for tripping Kris Hamlin would score his first goal of the year beating Cardwell to make it 1-0. The Ice Dogs added a second goal at 9:47 when Wyatt Lawrence scored his 12th of the season finishing off a nice passing play just after the Miners killed off a 5 on 3 power play. Neither team would score in the period and after 20 minutes the Dryden GM Ice Dogs led 2-0. Shots on goal favoured Dryden at 10-7.
The after Christmas rust started coming off for the Miners in the second period. The Miners started to take the advantage in play but Gnidziejko would stand tall for the Ice Dogs. The Miners would finally get one past Gnidziejko at 7:58 just after a man advantage expired. Nic Herringer would score his 9th of the season on a rebound ripping one past Gnidziejko. Miners would tie the game up at 2 on the power play at 11:42. Michael DiLullo would score his 11th of the season picking up a lose puck and beating Gnidziejko. The hard work to tie up the game would be gone quickly as Tristan Simm would score his first SIJHL goal with Mark Ziobro in the penalty box at 15:43. After 40 minutes of play the Dryden GM Ice Dogs lead 3-2. English River Miners outshot the Ice Dogs 20-7 in the second period.
The third period saw both teams getting chances but both Cardwell and Gnidzeijko stood tall for their teams. With Dryden on the power play Evan Walls got called on an interference penalty and Jacen Bracko would get an unsportsmanlike penalty for shooting on Cardwell after the whistle. That turned a Dryden GM power play in a 4 on 3 advantage for the Miners. the 4 on 3 would turn into a 5 on 3 after Jennings would get out of the box and finish off a passing play with a one timer beating Gnidziejko to tie the game up at 3. Both teams could not convert any chances as Gnidziejko and Cardwell would shut the door. Third period shots were tied at 10. After 60 minutes the game is tied and we are heading to overtime.
3 on 3 action had both teams having chances but neither could capitalize. As the clock ran down it looked like this game would be heading to a shoot out. With 14 seconds left on the clock Zak Albers had a defender draped all over him tying up both arms. Somehow Albers managed to get a leg free and kick the puck out from the corner and Brody Jennings stepped up and beat Gnidziejko for his second of the game and the game winner. Miners out shoot the Ice Dogs 41-33 on the night after a bad first period.
The Goldcorp “Hard To Play Against” Hard Hat would go to Brody Jennings who scored the game tying goal in the third and the game winner in OT.
Norseman Inn 3 Stars
1. #7 Brody Jennings English River Miners
2. #27 Nic Herringer English River Miners
3. #30 Jacob Gnidziejko Dryden GM Ice Dogs