The 2013 – 2014 Superior International Junior Hockey League champions, the Fort Frances Lakers hosted the Minnesota Iron Rangers in front of 337 Laker fans at the Ice for Kids in Fort Frances, Ontario on September 5th for their first exhibition game of the 2014 – 2015 season.
6:31 into the first period, Minnesota’s Seth Chumley sank the Iron Rangers first goal of the game on an unassisted goal. At 8:11 of the first, Carter Chorney of Fort Frances evened the game 1 – 1 for the Lakers with assists from Matt Vela and Jarred Taylor.
Scoring the go-ahead goal at 13:35 of the first, Iron Ranger Gus Karkinen set up Max Seiter to give Minnesota a 2 – 1 lead. Tying the game at 2 – 2, Fort Frances Alex Rezansoff found the back of Iron Rangers netminder Kyle Carignan net at 14:44 of the period with helpers from Robbie Bonthron and Mason Meyer.
Scoring the Lakers third goal of the period, Aaron Wesley-Chisel scored his first goal of the exhibition season with a pass from Fort Frances forward Nic Proulx to bring the game to 3 – 2 for the home team. Matt Vela registered his second point of the game with Fort Frances fourth goal of the period with an assist from Carter Chorney and increasing the lead to 4 – 2.
8:13 into the second period, the Lakers were at it again adding another one with Josh Gouin sinking one in Minnesota’s net on a Fort Frances power play with Matt Vela and Blue Hayler. Adding one more the Lakers and bringing the game to 6 – 2 for the home team, Lakers Rezansoff scored his second of the game with contributors from Adrien Guenette and Jarred Taylor. Jacob Shannon found the back of the net of Fort Frances goaltender Ryan Ferguson with 2:06 left in the game with a pass from Noah Anderson.
The Lakers earn their first pre-season win with a score of 6 – 3 over the Iron Rangers. Minnesota couldn’t find the net on two power plays while Fort Frances scored two goals on three power plays in the 6 – 3 win.
Coach Strachan told the Junior Hockey Network that “all and all I guess you can never complain after a win. After sitting down as a staff we seen many good things and we realize we need to work on some areas more in the next two weeks before regular season. Throughout the game we had periods of time where we played with a high pace, moved the puck and supported one another well and created offence because of these reasons. At times we were on our heals as Minnesota has some solid returning veterans and pressured us throughout the game. We were out shot which can never make you happy, but in the end we did what was needed to win the hockey game and start on a positive note.”
Being it young into our season tomorrow will be a big task for us condition wise. We will have to work short and hard during our time on the ice. Play with a high compete level as English River will be sure to work hard in what they do. We will need to make sure we are playing physical and again playing to our strengths…speed, use our skill, support one another and make solid plays with the puck. if we can work to grow in chemistry as a team we can further build on what we started tonight. We may add a few veterans to our line up tomorrow to make us even deeper up front, but the bottom line us we will have to compete at a high level to have success again”, said Strachan.
The Lakers will hit the ice on September 6th at 6:30 p.m in Fort Frances when they host the English River Miners in their second exhibition game of the 2014 – 2015 pre-season.