Looking for their first win in 14 straight starts, the fifth place Fort Frances Lakers (6-20-1-3) headed to Thunder Bay on January 10th to take on the third place (17-10-3) Thunder Bay North Stars at the Fort William Gardens in a Superior International Junior Hockey League match – up.
Fort Frances Nick Lucas and Charlie Wilkie set up the Lakers opening goal 6:27 into the first to give the visitors a 1 – 0 lead on Jaedin Ness’ 15th of the season. Scoring his eighth of the season, veteran Laker Jack Bernie fires Fort Frances second of the game at 2:47 of the middle stanza. Christian Ward had the helper on Bernie’s goal. Increasing the lead to 3 – 0, Ian Tookenay brings the lead to 3 – 0 at the 4:31 mark of the period with former North Star Dustin Roitelman notching the assist. Colton Bodnar and Adam Withers find Ness for his second of the contest 8:16 into the period to add to the Laker lead. Newly acquired defenseman Jake Behse finds Thunder Bay Troy Sherman to close the gap to three for the hosts.
At 3:36 of the final period, Dillon Ward brings the North Stars within two with Carson Smith and Alexander Erwin adding the helpers on Thunder Bay’s second of the game. Joe Newhouse scores the third for Thunder Bay 12:18 into the period with Avery Siau and Alex Leonidas registering the contributors. With a Thunder Bay empty net, Laker Nick Lucas fires his second of the game with 35 seconds left in the game to give Fort Frances a 5 – 3 win over the North Stars. Laker goaltender Ismael Ralsten stopped 23 of 26 shots in Fort Frances first win in 2018.
The Lakers will now face the Minnesota Iron Rangers at the Ice for Kids Arena in Fort Frances on January 12th in a 7:30 p.m (CST) puck drop.