The 2021-2022 Dryden GM Ice Dogs team has officially been selected after their training camp wrapped up on Sunday (September 5, 2021).
Thirty-five players from all over western Canada, parts of Ontario, and the United States came to Dryden over the weekend to fight for a roster spot on this year's Ice Dogs team.
Head coach Kurt Walsten and his staff were very happy with how training camp went and the caliber of players that attended.
“As a staff, we’re very excited with what we’ve seen out there. It was three days, a lot of these guys haven’t been on the ice here in the summertime. A lot of big guys out here, good pace, a lot of skill, and great compete level,” said Walsten
Walsten had to have some tough conversations with some players and shared the good news with others but overall is very happy with the 25 players he and his staff selected.
“Right now we’re a lot better depth-wise than we were last year even. We told the guys here today the easy part is being one of the 25 guys now. The hard part starts when we’re back at the rink on Tuesday,” added Walsten
Defensemen Max Rath and forward Brady Frattinger were both selected to return to the Ice Dogs for another season, and both are looking forward to the start of the season.
“I’m just excited to play with this team, we got lots of good guys coming back here. I feel like we have a good shot to win a championship this year,” said Frattinger
“I’m a pretty big guy and I got to work on my foot speed, that’s probably the number one thing. Probably getting in the gym as much as I can to get stronger throughout the season and just stick with it through the whole season,” added Rath
The camp concluded on Sunday with the annual Blue and White game, with team blue winning 6-5 in a thriller.
The game was tied 5-5 in the dying seconds when forward Ian Kimble got past the defense and was able to beat the goalie with only 5 seconds left.
“I saw the puck and we had the possession. I just prayed one of my boys could hit me, Max threw a nice pass up the middle, and I just had to turn the jets on, beat the goalie around,” says Kimble
Walsten and the Ice Dogs will be back on the ice tomorrow and prepare for their exhibition game against the Red Lake Miners on Friday.
The Ice Dogs start their season on September 25, 2021, against the Fort Frances Lakers for their home opener.