Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Slave Lake’s Junior Icedogs played the top two teams in the league this past weekend, and no miracles on ice happened. They lost 10 – 5 to High Prairie on Friday night and 8 – 1 to the Northern Alberta Tomahawks on Saturday. Whatever magic the Icedogs had discovered the previous weekend when they beat the Tomahawks was nowhere to be found.

As for the game against High Prairie, the Icedogs did fairly well in the first period against the high-flying Red Wings. But the High Prairie attack was relentless, and it broke down the ‘Dogs eventually, especially in the second period. Ten to five was probably a decent result, when you give up over 50 shots on goal.

Slave Lake goal-scorers in the game were Loic Dury with two, Jonas Benjamin, Nolan Marshall and Austin Gaspar. Connor Johnson took the loss in net.

On Saturday night, the Icedogs were back on their heels from the start. Out-shot 42 – 12, they didn’t manage a single shot on net in the third period. Gaspar was the lone Slave Lake goal-scorer. Justin Stewart got the start in net for the Icedogs.

This weekend is the final one in the regular season, and the Icedogs spend it on the road. Friday night they play in Mackenzie B.C. Sunday they finish off the season at home against the Tomahawks.

On the Family Day weekend, the Icedogs dug deep and beat the Northern Alberta Tomahawks, for the first time this season. It took overtime to get it done, with Dury scoring in the extra frame.

Dury was in on all seven Slave Lake goals – his linemate Nolan Marshall in on six of them. Those two are on a scoring rampage, making mincemeat of the GMHL West scoring race and challenging for top spot in the entire 26-team league.

Individual achievements aside, the Icedogs appeared fired up and ready to play in Enoch on Feb. 19. They led 2 – 1 after one period and 5 – 3 after two. The third was shakier, with the Tomahawks scoring three straight. Marshall tied it up late, sending it into overtime.

Connor Johnson battled for the win with 44 saves on 50 shots.

“We outplayed them from the start,” says coach Dave Hyrsky. “A real good road game.”

The night before, the Mackenzie Mountaineers were back in town. After giving up 11 to this team a week earlier, the ‘Dogs were much stingier, winning 12 – 3.

“Our goal was to keep them to three goals and we did,” Hyrsky says. “We don’t want to get into a shoot-out with them.”

Jonas Benjamin and Marshall scored three apiece. Dury got two, as did Everett Reid. Landon Ahenakew and Patrick Bourque also scored. Johnson again got the win in net.

A couple of newish Icedogs showed up on the scoresheet in the game. Everett Reid is a “big kid” from Morinville and Denver Olson comes from Fond Du Lac in northern Saskatchewan. Hyrsky says they both make the team better, heading toward the playoffs.