Dryden Ice Dogs have sledded within tracking range of the Kam River Fighting Walleye atop the standings of the Superior International Jr. Hockey League.
Heading into play this week, second seed Dryden is six points back of league leading Kam River. Both teams have played 32 games.
A strength for the Ice Dogs has been their special team units. Not only does Dryden have the best power play productivity at 23.4 per cent but the Ice Dogs lead the SIJHL in penalty killing at an 86.0 rate. To be sure, Dryden needs to be good on the PK as the Ice Dogs have spent a staggering 985 minutes in the penalty box through 32 games. Those 985 penalty minutes are 235 more than the next most penalized team, the Sioux Lookout Bombers.
Offensively, seven Ice Dogs have scored 10 goals or more. Landen Stromme and James Hooton are the top Dogs with 18 tallies apiece, Bryce Benfield and Max Roby have both scored 14 times, Jordan Pfoh has netted 11 and Ryland Maier and captain Brady Frattinger have potted 10 apiece. Frattinger also leads the Ice Dogs with three shorthanded goals.
Between the pipes, Eric Clark has been the goalie of record in 13 of Dryden’s 21 victories.
Meanwhile, as Kam River (24-7-1, 49 points) and Dryden (21-10-1, 43 points) are 1-2 in the standings, Sioux Lookout and Red Lake are not far behind. The Bombers have 41 points and the Miners have 40. Sioux Lookout has played one more game than both Kam River and Dryden while Red Lake has skated in three more than the Fighting Walleye and Ice Dogs.