Coming off a 4 – 0 shutout loss in Fort Frances, Ontario on February 9th to the third place Thunder Bay North Stars, the fifth place (11-26-1-4) Fort Frances Lakers headed to Red Lake, Ontario 24 hours later to meet the fourth place (19-17-0-4) English River Miners in a Superior International Junior Hockey League match – up.
Nic Herringer finds the back of Laker goaltender Ismael Ralsten’s net 2:41 of the opening period on a Miner power play with a pass from Kyle Rosolowski to give English River a 1 – 0 lead. Brody Jennings sinks the hosts second of the contest at 7:08 with Zak Albers and Mark Ziobro notching the assists on Jennings’ goal. Noah Loveday closes the gap to one for the Lakers with his 11th on the season with Julian Uhryniuk and Dustin Roiteman adding the helpers on Loveday’s goal. Affiliate player James Gushulak scores his first in a Fort Frances jersey at 2:32 of the second to even the game 2 – 2 with Adam Whiters setting up Gushulak’s goal. Jaedin Ness nets his 21st of the season 12:14 into the middle stanza for the Lakers go – ahead goal with Ian Tookenay and Roitelman adding the assists on Ness’ power play marker. Landon Russell evens the game 3 – 3 with the Miners tying goal at 13:09 of the second with Spencer Milne and Jacob Siebenga registering the contributors on a Russell power play goal.
Uhryniuk finds Gushulak 15 seconds past the halfway mark of the final period to give the visitors a 4 – 3 lead for the Lakers. Stratton Pickett finds the back of Ralsten’s net 12:48 into the period with Rosolowski adding the helpers on Pickett’s power play goal. With time ticking down and the game tied 4 – 4 and the Miners shorthanded, Siebenga fires the game winner with 27 second remaining in the game to give English River a 5 – 4 win over Fort Frances. Ismael Ralsten stopped 33 of 38 shots in the Lakers 27th loss of the season.
Fort Frances bench boss Wayne Strachan told the Junior Hockey Netwrok that “the final goal came an an unfortunate turnover where our goalie played the puck to their guy and he shot it in the open net.”
“We need to be more discipline we took to many penalties in the third, in big games like this that cannot happen if you want to have success. Tomorrow afternoon, we need to bring the same energy, determination and find the will to win” said Strachan.
The Miners and Lakers will meet on February 11th in a 2:00 p.m afternoon matinee in a SIJHL regular season match – up in Red Lake.