At the Ice for Kids Arena in Fort Frances, Ontario on January 26th, the fifth place (10-22-1-3) Fort Frances Lakers hosted the third place (22-11-3) Thunder Bay North Stars in a Superior International Junior Hockey League match – up.
With the North Stars on a power play, Ryan Mignault sends a pass to Alex Leonidas at 5:17 of the opening period to give Thunder Bay a 1 – 0 lead. Alexander Erwin finds the back of the Laker Ismael Ralsten’s net 15:33 into the first with Tom Von Schoenberg adding the helper on the North Stars second goal of the contest. Noah Loveday pulls Fort Frances within one with tenth of the season with Jack Dunnell setting up Loveday’s power play marker 51 seconds into the middle stanza. Christian Ward evens the game 1 – 1 at the 7:07 mark of the period with Colton Bodnar notching the assist on Ward’s fifth of the season. With Thunder Bay shorthanded, Avery Siau scores the go – ahead goal at 11:23 of the period with Alex Maticic and Kyle Auger registering the contributors. Dillon Ward and Siau set up the North Stars fourth of the game to give the visitors a 4 – 2 lead at 13:58.
Keighan Currie finds Joe Newhouse of the North Stars for Thunder Bay’s fifth of the game 16:44 into the period. With 1:39 remaining in the period, Troy Sherman adds to the lead to bring the score to 6 – 2 with Brendan Gillis and Owen Belisle adding the helpers. Turner Santin finds Brendan Gillis to increase the lead to 7 – 2 at 15:30. Fort Frances Jaedin Ness sinks his 19th of the season with the Lakers third of the game with Adam Withers setting up Ness’s goal. Ismael Ralsten turned away 38 of 45 shots in the Lakers 7 – 3 loss to the North Stars.
“I thought for the first 27 minutes of the hockey game we were the better team. We created good scoring chances forced them into causing turnovers and played a simple game. From when they scored the shorthanded goal our mindset changed. We tried to beat guys one on one to many times, coughed up pucks to the middle and defended soft” said Laker coach Wayne Strachan.
Next up for the Lakers will be the first place Thief River Falls Norskies on January 27th in a 7:00 p.m (CST) start in Thief River Falls, Minnesota.