After opening the 2017 Superior International Junior Hockey League Survivor Series with two wins in Thief River Falls, Minnesota over the Norskies, the Lakers returned to Fort Frances to host the Norskies in game three on March 24th in post – season action.
Thief River Falls Parker Simonson fired the first goal of the game at the 18:36 mark of the first with Reily MacIntosh and Tommy Stang drawing the contributors on the Norskies goal. Keaton Huot and Mitchell Soderberg set up Norskie Michael Johnson with one minute left in the period to send the visitors into the first intermission up 2 – 0. Tyler Chalupsky finds the back of Laker goaltender Brandon Bodnar’s net to increase the lead to 3 – 0 for Thief River Falls with a pass from Soderberg at 2:33 of the second. Simonson scores his second of the contest 17:57 into the middle stanza to bring the lead to 4 – 0 with assists coming from Dalton Johnson and Stang.
With ten seconds left in the period, Connor Smith finds Thief River Falls Peter Grytdahl for the Norskies fifth of the game to send the game into the second intermission 5 – 0. Connor Bowey sinks the final goal of the contest 3:28 into the third to give the Norskies a 6 – 0 shutout win over the Lakers. Simonson and Stand drew the helpers on Bowey’s goal. Laker netminders Brandon Bodnar and Jessie Heisz shared the goaltending duties with Bodnar making 19 saves on 22 shots while Heisz turned away 28 of 31 in the game in Fort Frances.
Fort Frances coach Wayne Strachan told the Junior Hockey Network that “one team showed up tonight and wanted it more. You don’t win games in the playoffs playing soft hockey and shabby defense. Our power play stunk, our compete level was inexistent and we disrespected our opponent and they embarrassed us. We will move on to game four.
Game four of the best of five series will take place on Saturday March 25th in Fort Frances with the Lakers leading the series 2 – 1 against the Norskies. The Lakers and Norksies will hit the ice at the Ice for Kids Arena in a 7:30 p.m puck drop.