THUNDER BAY – All good things must eventually come to an end.
On Saturday night, it was the Thunder Bay North Stars 13-game winning streak.
The Dryden Ice Dogs stormed into Fort William Gardens and dominated the Stars from start to finish, Eric Stout completing his third hat trick of the season to lead his team to a 7-4 triumph,
Rayman Bassi added two goals and two assists, and Curtis Magas picked up four helpers to lead the way offensively for the Ice Dogs.
It was just the fifth loss of the season for Thunder Bay, the No. 2-ranked team in the Canadian Junior Hockey League. Rayman Bassi added two goals and two assists, and Curtis Magas picked up four helpers to lead the way offensively for the visitors.
A slow start, similar to one the North Stars were able to overcome in Friday night’s 4-3 win over Dryden, plagued the home side once again.
The fourth-place Ice Dogs outshot their opponent 22-8 in the first period, took a 1-0 lead on Cameron Coutre’s 20th of the season and never trailed in the contest, improving to 20-16-4 in the process.
“I think it went wrong from the get-go, right from period one. It seemed like it was their barn and we just let them walk all over us in the first,” said Thunder Bay captain Ryan Mignault.
“We had to fight back the whole game and it showed. We didn’t get our legs warm at all.”
Fellow forward Brendan Gillis said it really started earlier in the week.
“We didn’t have the greatest week of practice and it obviously showed this weekend. Our legs weren’t there, our speed wasn’t there,” said Gillis, who put the North Stars on the board on the power play, 8:11 into the second, cutting Dryden’s 2-0 lead in half.
“They came out flying. They wanted it more than us, you can tell, and the effort wasn’t there from us.”
Thunder Bay coach Rob DeGagne put it more succinctly.
“We got beat. We got a good, old-fashioned whoop-ass tonight. So we’ve got to get back on our horse, get back to work and start another streak, hopefully,” he said.
The Ice Dogs managed to take away the North Stars biggest advantage, their speed, something DeGagne promised the team would work on moving forward.
“They slowed us down, they did a good job against us, so we’ve got to battle back and get back to work,” DeGagne said.
Dryden also got a pair of fortuitous bounces off the end boards that led to goals.
After Thunder Bay’s Max Fortin scored to make it 4-2 at 16:47 of the second, Bassi blasted a shot wide that ricocheted back to Brody Nielsen’s standing in front of North Stars goalie Brock Aiken, who was caught going the wrong way. Nielsen promptly deposited his first career SIJHL goal.
Seven minutes into the third it was Stout’s turn, turning a Trygve Many Guns miss into a tally and a 6-2 Dryden lead.
The Stars did creep closer, Josh Bryant scoring 21 seconds later and then Logan Mihalcin, playing in just his fourth game of the season because of injury, fired a puck from just inside the blue-line that went untouched behind Dryden goalie Jacob Anthony at the 13:47 mark.
It was as close as they’d get, Stout completing his hat trick on the backhand into the open net in the final minute of the contest.
The Stars (34-3-2) will play a make-up game on Wednesday night at home against the Minnesota Iron Rangers (3-39-0).
Star gazing: Thunder Bay's Cole Turbide and Dryden's Malcolm Huemmert were tossed following a first-period tussle.
Scoring: 1. Dryden, Coutre 20 (Browning, Bassi) 7:44. Penalties: Huemmert DRY (boarding) 8:59, Kilby TB (tripping) 11:46, Fortin TB (holding) 12:39, Huemmert DRY (roughing, misconduct, misconduct, game misconduct), Bryant TB (roughing), Turbide TB (check to the head, misconduct, misconduct, game misconduct) 14:40, Nielson DRY (misdonduct) 17:37, Auger TB (boarding) 18:07, Coutre DRY (cross checking), Pakkala DRY, Fortin TB (roughing after the whistle) 20:00.
Scoring: 2. Dryden, Bassi 8 (Magas) 1:49 sh. 3. Thunder Bay, Gillis 13 (Siau, Mignault) 8:11 pp. 4. Dryden, Stout 24 (Palermo, Magas) 13:46. 5. Dryden, Bassi 9 (Coutre, Browning) 14:18. 6. Thunder Bay, Fortin 3 (Gerrie) 16:47. 7. Dryden, Nielsen 2 (Magas, Bassi) 18:08. Penalties: Many Guns DRY (tripping) 5:14, Coutre DRY (slashing) 6:31, Magas DRY (slashing) 8:27.
Scoring: 8. Dryden, Stout 25 (Many Guns, Magas) 7:22. 9. Thunder Bay, Bryant (Willan, Gerrier) 7:43 pp. 10. Thunder Bay, Mihalcin (Mrakic, Auger) 13:47. 11. Dryden, Stout 26 (Many Guns) 19:27 en. Penalties: Boyko DRY (high sticking) 7:35, Siebenga DRY (holding) 14:51, Browning DRY, Bryant TB (roughing) 16:57, Magas DRY (tripping) 18:23.
GAME DATA – SOG – Dryden 22-16-12-50, Thunder Bay 8-10-13-31; Power plays (goals-chances) – Dryden (0-3), Thunder Bay (2-8); Goaltenders – Dryden: Jacob Anthony, Thunder Bay: Brock Aiken; A: 400.