In Fort Frances, Ontario on January 23rd, the first place Lakers hosted the fourth place Minnesota Iron Rangers at the Ice for Kids Arena in Superior International Junior Hockey League action.
Veteran Dylan Robertson sank the opening goal for the Lakers on his 21st of the season at 16:15 of the first to send Fort Frances into the first intermission with a 1 – 0 lead with a pass from Julian Uhryniuk. On an Iron Ranger power play at 11:25 of the second period, Alex Mimmack evened the game 1 – 1 for Minnesota with Austin Ramirez and Dayton Honkanen adding the assists. With their second power play of the period, Eric Madison gives Minnesota a 2 – 1 lead at 11:57 of the second with Jake Ellingson drawing the helper on Madison’s go – ahead goal behind Laker goaltender Brandon Bodnar. Fort Frances Roshen Jaswal ties the game at 7:34 of the third to send the game into overtime. Matt Tustin had the assist on Jaswal’s power play goal for the Lakers.
Minnesota’s Dalton, John Cuni and Austin Ramirez were all stopped by Bodnar in the overtime shootout with Laker’s Dylan Robertson and Roshen Jaswal turned away by Iron Ranger Anthony Pupplo while Nolan Ross sank the overtime shootout winner to give Fort Frances a 3 – 2 win over Minnesota.
“In the first two periods we played very individual and didn’t play to our strengths. In the third we started to play more of our game and created more opportunities. Their goalie played well and in the end we were fortunate to get the two points. In the first two periods we let them hang around and our lack of intensity caught up to us and we took some soft penalties to allow them to get the lead. We have improved our five on five play defensive wise but right now our penalties are costing us and that is something we need to change in our game,” said Laker coach Wayne Strachan.
The Fort Frances Lakers will meet the Thunder Bay North Stars in Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota in game one at 3:00 p.m (CST) of 2016 SIJHL Showcase.