Lakers vault into third
The Fort Frances Lakers took full advantage of what proved to be their only game of the weekend Friday night in Hoyt Lakes, beating the Minnesota Iron Rangers 4-1 to move into third place in the SIJHL standings.
The Lakers (19-13-1-2) have 41 points—two ahead of the Thunder Bay North Stars in the race for third.
The Dryden Ice Dogs (23-16-0-1) currently are in second place, six points up on Fort Frances although the Lakers do hold five games in hand.
In Friday’s win, recently-acquired forward Tyler Brodersen made his presence felt offensively with a pair of goals in just his second game for his new club.
Colton Spicer and Kevin Kurm also beat Iron Rangers’ goalie Chase Hollander while Payton Ruter and Miles Nolan chipped in with a pair of assists each.
At the other end of the rink, Tanner Hamilton turned in a strong performance between the pipes, making 26 saves to help the Lakers earn the win.
Gus Karkinen scored late in the third period to spoil Hamilton’s shutout bid.
The Lakers were scheduled to host the Duluth Clydesdales on Saturday night but that game was postponed late Friday afternoon.
The SIJHL cellar-dwellers cancelled both of its games this weekend due to a lack of players who could dress for the team.
Rumours about the state of the Clydesdales’ franchise have been circulating throughout the weekend, which have included the team either closing up shop or being suspended from play by the league itself.
The SIJHL has yet to release a statement on the matter, but the Clydesdales’ organization has said it hopes to be back in action tomorrow night when they are scheduled to visit the North Stars.
In the meantime, the Lakers are preparing for a three-game road swing, which will get underway Friday night in Thunder Bay.
Following a game Saturday against the Iron Rangers and then next Wednesday (Jan. 30) in Dryden, the Lakers will host the Iron Rangers on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.