Lakers’ players have been busy out in the community

It has been some time since my “Coach’s Corner” column has appear in the Fort Frances Times.
Since last reporting to our local fans, we started November on a six-game winning streak, then lost two, and now have won two-straight.
It has been kind of a roller-coaster ride all month as we’ve battled in and out of first place in the SIJHL with three other teams.
The Thunder Bay North Stars are familiar foes to the top of the league, as are the Ice Dogs from Dryden, while the expansion Wisconsin Wilderness are proving to be no slouches themselves.
It seems as if all four teams are willing to set forth in a battle to the end as all continue to be competitive and knock each another off.
It is the second crucial time in the season, with the first being the beginning and main training camp.
Now, the Dec. 1 cutdown date is looming and all the teams in the SIJHL have decisions to make on what direction they will take with their rosters as we go from 45 cards to 25 until Jan. 10 trade deadline.
Our team is busy (as all teams are) looking for that important piece of the puzzle that may put your team over the edge this early in the season. But there doesn’t seem to be much out on the trade wire as teams right across Canada don’t seem willing to make that deal that will make or break their season (at least as of Monday evening).
We will continue to look, but it is appearing as if we just will be trimming a few bodies rather than axing and adding a few at this point.
We have gone through a long battle of games this month, with two spurts of a bunch of games in short spans (seven in 15 days and now presently on a six-game-in-11-night tour).
It took a toll on our bodies at the end of the last spurt of games, and I’m hoping our players have learned from that and are taking care of themselves this week to compete with Sioux Lookout there this Friday (Dec. 3) and then back here Saturday (Dec. 4) against the North Stars.
This time of year also is hard on the minds and thought process as the players all know decisions need to be made.
It’s definitely not a good time of year for the players, but if they concentrate on what they can control, they definitely will help their cause in being a part of the Lakers’ organization.
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Lakers’ players have been out and about in the community since Hallowe’en.
If your son or daughter was at the annual “Backyard Haunt” organized by Tess’s Kitchen, you would have run into many Lakers helping with the event.
They helped prepare for the Hallowe’en bash, and we thank Tess for her hospitality and all she contributes to our organization.
We also have been active with our new “Adopt-A-School” program at Robert Moore that sees our players go there and help teachers with many different aspects of their daily routines.
This has been happening one day a week for a little over a month now.
We have had rave reviews from the teachers so far, and our players really enjoy going and working with the young students.
We thank vice-principal Cam Keast for his help in setting these visits up with Lakers’ assistant captain Morgan McNeill.
More recently, players were at McDonald’s on Saturday, where they were greeting and mingling with customers.
We also participated in the annual Santa Claus parade that same day. The Lakers’ float was decorated nicely by board members and fan club members.
It was a chilly night, but a fun night for all the players who participated.
Meanwhile, the players who weren’t on the float were moving the barricades at the numerous intersections along the parade route, so we have been out in the community giving our support where it is needed.
We thank those organizations and people who have allowed our team to give back to the community that supports them.
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In related news, the fan club will be holding a bake sale during this Saturday’s game against the Thunder Bay North Stars.
Please come and support them, and get some good baking for Christmas or simply to satisfy your own sweet tooth.

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