Coming off a 5 – 3 win in Thunder Bay on Wednesday January 10th, the fifth place (7-20-1-3) Fort Frances Lakers hosted the sixth place (3-24-1-2) Minnesota Iron Rangers at the Ice for Kids Arena on January 12th in Superior International Junior Hockey League regular season action.
Jack Bernie sinks the first goal of the game 6:08 into the opening period with his ninth of the season with Adam Withers and Christian Ward adding the contributors on Bernie’s goal to give the Lakers a 1 – 0 lead. With his seventh of the season Adam Withers scores an unassisted power play goal at 7:17 of the period to bring Fort Frances lead to 2 – 0. Finding the back of the Iron Rangers net, Jack Dunnell increases the hosts lead to 3 – 0 with Julian Uhryniuk and Bernie registering the helpers on Dunnell’s power play goal. 1:16 into the middle stanza on a power play, Joel Nagy sends a pass to Zach Horn of the Iron Rangers to pull Minnesota within two. Iron Ranger Bryce Litke pulls the visitors within one 7:35 into the final period with Eli Kinsman and Nagy setting up Litke’s goal.
Jack Dunnell fires a pass to Adam Withers for his second of the game at the 12:06 mark of the period to bring the Lakers a 4 – 2 lead. Clayton Brown and Kinsman notch the helpers on Minnesota’s Mark Sanchez goal to close the gap to one for the Iron Rangers at 13:12 of the third. Fort Frances goaltender Ismael Ralsten stopped 20 – 23 shots in the Lakers second straight win.
“Obviously the feeling of winning is great for our team at this time. We came out strong and had enough urgency at the end to hold them off. Izzy Ralsten made some key saves when we needed and a huge one with the dying seconds of the game on the line. Adam Withers is starting to excel for us at a crucial time in our season. He is doing everything we expected him to. He has lead the team offensively through the two wins” said Laker coach Wayne Strachan.
The Lakers will now travel to Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota on January 13th to meet the Iron Rangers in a 7:00 p.m (CST) start.