DRYDEN, Ont. – The stellar netminding of Landon Pavlisin helped backstop the Dryden GM Ice Dogs (SIJHL) to a 3-0 triumph over the Cochrane Crunch (NOJHL) Wednesday night in Day 2 play at the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canadian Jr. A Championship at Dryden Memorial Arena.
First period action was fast and featured a high-tempo frame that was highlighted by the stellar play of the starting goaltenders, in Cochrane’s Shayne Battler and Dryden’s Pavlisin.
It was much of the same in the first half of the middle session with each netminder standing tall between the pipes.
Dryden would eventually open the scoring midway through the second period as SIJHL MVP Jacen Bracko darted down the right wing and fired a low shot that trickled through the legs of Battler allowing a hard-charging Connor Mowatt to shovel the puck across the blueline and put the GM Ice Dogs in front.
The DHC hosts added another in the final minute of the second as Dryden defenceman Tristan Knott rushed in along the left side with the play leading to Matthew Pitchenese making a nifty between the legs no-look back pass from behind the goal line to an open Mowatt who buried his second of the stanza over the blocker over the Crunch netminder at 19:05.
The DHC hosts then secured the triumph in the late going of regulation as Woody Galbraith iced it with an empty netter at 18:33 to round out the scoring.
Pavlisin finished with 28 saves to post the shutout for Dryden as they improved to 2-0 in the four-team event and guaranteed themselves at least a semifinal berth.
Battler faced 34 shots against in defeat for the Crunch who fell to 0-2.
Picking up player of the game laurels was Pitchenese for the GM Ice Dogs and Noah Bennett for the Crunch.
Cochrane now faces a must-win game Thursday afternoon as they take on the 1-1 Wellington Dukes (OJHL) at 2:30 p.m. CT/3:30 p.m. ET.
The GM Ice Dogs meanwhile meet their SIJHL-rival, the Thunder Bay North Stars (1-1), in the final round robin game at 7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET with standings implications on the line in that contest as well.
The first place finisher after round robin competition will advance right to Saturday’s championship game while the second and third place squads will meet in semifinal play Friday.
All Dudley-Hewitt Cup games are streamed live online at HockeyTV.com.
SCHEDULE/RESULTS: (All starts Central Standard Time)
Tuesday, May 1
Thunder Bay 4 Dryden 0
Dryden 4 Wellington 1
Wednesday, May 2
Wellington 4 Thunder Bay 1
Dryden 3 Cochrane 0
Thursday, May 3
Cochrane vs. Wellington 2:30 p.m.
Thunder Bay vs. Dryden 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 4
Semifinal: 3rd Round Robin vs. 2nd Round Robin 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 5
Final: Semifinal Winner vs. 1st Round Robin 7:30 p.m.