Dylan Mascarin wants to prove he can play hockey at a higher level.
Cut by the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League, the 17-year-old returned to Thunder Bay feeling sorry for himself – and it’s showed in his play through the first few weeks of the Superior International Junior Hockey League season.
He admitted he let the rejection get the better of him.
“I had no confidence coming back from the camp. I just slept on it for a few nights and told myself there’s a lot of time, I can still do it. I’m just working hard in practice every day and it just worked out in camp tonight.
Mascarin, who had just three points in four games entering Wednesday’s contest, erupted for a goal and three assists to help power the Thunder Bay North Stars to a 9-4 win over the Dryden Ice Dogs at Fort William Gardens.
His goal came in the second, a short-side shot that beat Dryden goalie Kim Wildhaber at the 6:16 mark and put the Stars up 2-1, a lead they’d never relinquish.
“It was a breakout game for Dylan and Dylan needed that for his confidence,” Kahoot said. “He’s had some tough puck luck lately and it was nice to see him get a few bounces and get a beautiful goal tonight. And he skated well.”
Kahoot’s squad was firing on all cylinders, save for a brief third-period lapse after taking a 9-2 lead. The Stars scored four times in six power-play opportunities, and got a four-point performance out of Mitchell Fox and two-goal outings from Matt Kaarela and Mathias Gardiman.
It was a great way to rebound after Saturday’s disappointing 7-2 home-ice loss to the Fort Frances Lakers.
“It’s kind of nice to see that team show up again. That’s the team we’re trying to be, we’re trying to be that skating, skilled team,” said Kahoot, who added he’s been experimenting with his special teams in practice and it paid off.
“We went to a different style of power play. It’s one of those nights. Everything clicked. Is it going to work every night? Probably not. But tonight was a night it clicked, it came at a good time and we needed it.”
Junior B call-up and ex-Star Cody Fraser, who also had three assists, Alex Vaillant, Mitchell Fox and Cory Lacosse were the other North Stars goal scorers. Tyler Walsh, who tied the game 1-1 in the first, Jesse Linner, Chris Sitko and Tyler Newsome were the Dryden players to beat Thunder Bay goalie Jayme Brattengeier.
Wildhaber was chased at 16:42 of the second after Kaarela rifled a blast from close range that put the Stars up 6-1 at the time. He was replaced by Justin Oltsher.
Star gazing: The two teams paused for a moment of silence prior to the game to honour the memory of former Lakers forward Jaret LeClair, who was killed Sunday in a car crash near Pic River First Nation … Thunder Bay’s Paul Zysko and Dryden’s Dan Morin were tossed for fighting midway through the second.
Scoring: 1. Thunder Bay, Vaillant (Davidson, Fraser) 3:41. 2. Dryden, Walsh 8 (Thompson, Morin) 8:53 pp. 3. Thunder Bay, Kaarela (Mi. Fox) 9:50. Penalties: Morin DRY (roughing) 4:19, Ma. Fox TB (cross checking) 7:48, Lacosse TB (slashing) 16:24.
Scoring: 3. Thunder Bay, Mascarin (Mi. Fox) 6:16. 5. Thunder Bay, Gardiman (Fraser, Mascarin) 6:47. 6. Mi. Fox (Kaarela, Ma. Fox) 10:31 pp. 7. Thunder Bay, Kaarela (Mi. Fox, Kahoot) 16:42 pp. Penalties: Nicholas TB (roughing) 4:59, Kaarela TB (elbowing) 7:36, Walsh DRY (tripping) 8:46, N. Haase TB (hooking) 11:42, Zysko TB, Morin DRY (fighting majors, game misconducts) 12:21, McPhail DRY (tripping) 14:59, Winter DRY (hooking) 18:01.
Scoring: 8. Dryden, Linner 3 (Sonstebo, Pelletier) 5:40. 9. Thunder Bay, Fraser (Mascarin, Masters) 7:35. 10. Thunder Bay, Gardiman (Martyn, Fraser) 10:49 pp. 11.Thunder Bay, Lacosse (Exell) 9:27. 12. Dryden, Sitko 2 (McPhail, Gilbert) 11:25. 13. Dryden, Newsome 1 (Stratford) 13:34. Penalties: Court DRY (cross checking) 6:33, Pelletier DRY (roughing) 7:46, Berrey DRY, Kahoot TB (roughing) 8:28, Sonstebo DRY, (roughing) Fraser TB (double minor, roughing) 16:07. Thompson DRY (slashing) 16:28.
GAME DATA – SOG – Dryden 13-14-8-35, Thunder Bay 9-12-17-38; Power plays (goals-chances) – Dryden (1-6), Thunder Bay (4-7); Goaltenders – Dryden: Kim Wildhaber (19 shots, 13 saves), Justin Oltsher (16:42, second).Thunder Bay: Jayme Brattengeier.
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