Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lakers sweep home games

One of the few things Lucas DeBenedet didn’t have on his impressive résumé yet this season was an overtime goal.
That now can be scratched off the list.

DeBenedet delivered the goods Saturday with his second goal of the game—just 24 seconds into the extra session—to give the Fort Frances Lakers a 4-3 win over the visiting Dryden Ice Dogs.
“I told the boys before overtime started I was going to get the goal,” noted DeBenedet, whose 23rd of the season capped a three-point night which now sees him lead the SIJHL in goals and points (47).
The International Falls product raced in across the line, cut quickly to the inside to elude a defender, and then ripped a wrist shot to the far side of Dryden goalie Shane Dietl, whose 36-save effort went for naught.
“I just came in and got the shot on goal. I wasn’t trying to aim it or anything,” DeBenedet said.
The Lakers (21-1-0-2) had to rally from a 2-0 first-period deficit against the Ice Dogs (12-14-2) to win their fifth in a row.
Tim Kavanaugh and Derek McPhail scored 49 seconds apart midway through the opening frame against Ethan Wood, making his Lakers’ debut after joining the team from the Kingston Voyageurs of the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League on the weekend.
Mason Meyer notched his 16th of the year before the end of the frame with the man advantage to cut the lead to 2-1, then set up DeBenedet and Billy Grillo (power play) 1:51 apart early in the second to put the Lakers up 3-2.
Dane Feeney tied it at 11:09 of the second.
Wood made 18 saves to pull out the victory—despite entering the game on no sleep after jumping on a 3 a.m. flight from Ottawa to join the team in time for the game.
On Friday night, the Lakers finished a three-game sweep of the Wisconsin Wilderness (1-23) by scoring five unanswered goals in a 6-1 triumph at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Meyer had his second-straight five-point night with a goal and four helpers while DeBenedet tallied once and added three assists.
Lyndon Lipinski notched a pair and had three points along with Cody Wickstrom (one goal/two assists).
Miles Nolan, meanwhile, scored in his first game back from injury.
Justion Gregory had the lone goal for the Wilderness, who now have lost 22-straight games, with new head coach John McCreery still seeking his first win after seven games with the club.
Ryan Ferguson had 22 saves for the Lakers while Griffin Strain made 34 in a losing cause.
The Lakers lead the second-place Thunder Bay North Stars (15-3-0-3) by 11 points for top spot in the SIJHL, with the Stars holding three games in hand.
Fort Frances returns to action Thursday at 7:30 p.m. when they host the third-place Minnesota Iron Rangers (13-7-0-3).

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