After winning game one with the Fort Frances Lakers back in action for the second straight evening in Thief River Falls, Minnesota against the Norskies, the Lakers looked to take a 2 – 0 lead in the best of five Superior International Junior Hockey League survivor series on March 22nd. Fort Frances took game one 24 hours earlier over Thief River Falls with a 4 – 1 win.
Maverick Lynes fires a pass 4:17 into the first to give the Lakers a 1 – 0 lead with Fort Frances Ian Tookenay sinking his first of the post – season. Ian Jarvis gives the Lakers a 2 – 0 lead with his first of the 2017 play – offs at the 4:18 mark of the second with Brett Pickler drawing the contributor. Tommy Stang pulls the Norskies within one at 8:19 of the middle stanza with Jared Pederson and Mitchell Sodenberg adding the assists on Stang’s goal. Keaton Huot registers a helper on Thief River Falls’ tying goal at 18:04 of the second to even the game 2 – 2 on Michael Johnson’s goal. Jarvis scores the Lakers third goal of the contest to give Fort Frances a 3 – 2 lead at 6:36 of the third with Jaden Gustafson adding the helpers on Jarvis’ goal.
At 7:51 of the third, Peter Grytdhal sends a pass to Norskie Alec Daman to tie the game 3 – 3 for Thief River Falls. With an unassisted goal, Gustafson sinks the Lakers fourth of the game to give Fort Frances a 4 – 3 lead at 19:22 of the period with his first of the post – season. With 15 seconds left in the game, Reily McIntosh and Parker Simonson had the assists on Keaton Hout’s goal to send game two into overtime on the Norskies tying goal. Veteran Matt Tustin finds the back of the Norskies net at 14:23 of the first overtime to give the Lakers a 5 – 4 win to take a 2 – 0 lead in the best of five series. Brandon Bodnar goaltender of the Lakers made 51 saves in Fort Frances win in Minnesota.
Laker coach Wayne Strachan told the Junior Hockey Network that “tonight’s game was kind of a carbon copy of last nights game. I thought we were fortunate to have had the lead after one period. In the second we chipped away but they came hard and battled to tie the game. The third we settled a little and created more offense. Thief River was resilient and kept coming back at us where they have played two solid hockey games.”
“I am glad we stuck with it after they tied it with 14 seconds in the game. Again we got good goaltending, our penalty kill was good, we had contribution from everyone and we found a way to get the “W”. We know the series isn’t over the Norskies have played good hockey and will battle until the end. We have to be sharper in certain areas to have a chance at having success on Friday” said Strachan.
Game three will head to Fort Frances at the Ice for Kids Arena on Friday March 24th for a 7:30 p.m start between the Lakers and Norskies.