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Ice Dogs repeat as SIJHL champs

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Ted Davis' power-play goal 49 seconds into the third period proved to be the winner as the Dryden GM Ice Dogs rallied to edge the Thunder Bay North Stars 3-2 in Game 6 of the best-of-seven SIJHL final Saturday at the Fort William Gardens.

The Ice Dogs claimed the series 4-2 and nabbed their second-straight league title.

But North Stars also will advance to the Dudley-Hewitt Cup to determine the Central Canadian Jr. 'A' crown starting May 1 because Dryden already has a berth as the host team.

Joining the two SIJHL squads at the four-team event will be the winners of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League and the Ontario Junior Hockey League.

Thunder Bay opened the scoring for the first time in the series Saturday night when goalie Brandon Bodnar steered it over to Ryan Mignault, who then used a give-and-go and was sent in alone by Bradley Thrower on Ice Dogs' goalie Landon Pavlisin.

Mignault made a quick deke left before lifting his ninth of the playoffs short-handed over Pavlisin midway through the first frame.

Turner Santin then doubled the lead when he went high blocker side on Pavlisin 48 seconds into the second.

The Ice Dogs trimmed it to 2-1 midway through the period when Malcolm Huemmert ripped a shot off the crossbar before Kris Hamlin stuffed home the loose puck.

Dryden then tied it at 11:22 after winning another draw that allowed Matthew Pitchenese to snap the equalizer blocker side on Bodnar.

Starting the third with a 4-on-3 advantage, Davis found himself alone in the high slot, where he buried his eighth goal of the playoffs and third game-winner of the championship series just 55 seconds into the period.

Thunder Bay pressed to tie it but Pavlisin stood tall in the Ice Dogs' net to preserve the win.

Bodnar was tagged with the loss.

It was Davis who also played hero for Dryden on Friday night.

His knack for scoring timely goals was evident once more as his game-winner 8:26 into overtime lifted his team to a dramatic 4-3 victory at the Memorial Arena in Dryden.

The hosts opened the scoring about seven minutes into the game as Trevor Kavanaugh walked into a Huemmert feed in the slot and wired one high over the glove of Bodnar.

The North Stars drew even later in the frame during a man advantage as Owen Belisle redirected an Alex Maticic shot that found its way through the legs of Pavlisin.

Bradley Thrower gave the North Stars their only lead of the night at 16:40 of the frame, but Connor Mowatt countered just 65 seconds later for Dryden to knot it at 2-2 after 20 minutes.

The Ice Dogs went back in front in the second as Davis bulled his way out of the corner, skated to the middle of the ice, and roofed a shot over Bodnar to make it 3-2 with just over six minutes left in the second.

Thunder Bay's Brendan Gillis was credited with the equalizer with just 4.8 seconds left in regulation time while his squad was on a late power play and with Bodnar pulled for an extra attacker.

The official ruled the puck, that was on its edge, had just crossed over the goal line before being pulled back by a Dryden defender to send the game to overtime.

Then in the extra frame, Davis, who also notched the decider in overtime in Game 1, played hero once more as he skated down the right wing and blasted the winner past Bodnar from the face-off circle to send the near-capacity crowd into a frenzy.

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