After dropping three games in a row to begin the 2022-2023 regular season the Dryden Ice Dogs of the Superior International Jr. Hockey League have reeled off five successive victories.
The winning ways and 5-3-0 record have vaulted Dryden into second place in the seven-team SIJHL, trailing only the league-leading Kam River Fighting Walleye, which has an impressive 8-1-1 mark.
Back-stopping the Ice Dogs in fine fashion to date has been 20-year old puck-stopper Eric Clark. A gargantuan of a goalie at 6-foot-5, 205 pounds, Clark has a record of 4-1-0 with a 2.36 goals against average and .923 save percentage. Clark is in his first full season with Dryden after joining the Ice Dogs part way through the 2021-2022 season via trade with the Blind River Beavers of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.
Hailing from out in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Clark has not been alone as a pull dog for Dryden in the early going of this season. Ryland Maier leads the Ice Dogs in scoring with four goals, six assists, 10 points followed by Bryce Benfield with 3-6-9 totals, Jordan Pfoh with 5-3-8 numbers, Landen Stromme with 5-2-7 stats, Brady Frattinger with a 2-5-7 production and defenseman Easton Debray with a 4-1-5 showing.
HACKL ON THE MEND
Dryden is hoping to get homegrown forward Ben Hackl back from the injured list soon. The 20-year old Hackl was hurt during an exhibition game and has yet to make his ’22-23 regular season debut for the Ice Dogs.
Hackl was obtained by Dryden in a summer time trade with the Dauphin Kings of the Manitoba Jr. Hockey League. The 5-foot-11, 185 pound Hackl was utilized as a shutdown forward for Dauphin in ’21-22 and netted five goals, 18 assists, 23 points in 54 games, regular season and playoffs included for the MJHL champs.
Hackl actually played in five games for Dryden as an affiliate player back during the 2019-2020 SIJHL season and had one goal, two assists, three points. He is a graduate of the reputable Kenora Thistles Under 18 program and tallied 47 goals in 114 games over three seasons there.