Canadians keep up winning ways

A short bench made for a long afternoon for the visiting Mitchell Mohawks here Sunday as the host Fort Frances Canadians cruised to a 7-2 victory in Manitoba Eastman Midget Hockey League action.
Trevor Lind led the way with a hat trick while Wade Friesen was solid between the pipes.
Mitchell never was in this one after the first period as fatigue from playing with just nine skaters took its toll.
Terrance Isaac actually opened the scoring for Mitchell at the 9:06 mark of the first period, but Lind replied with his first (unassisted) less than a minute later to knot things up.
Jason Caldwell then put the Canadians up 2-1 at 11:24, assisted by Brian Chambers and Marc Riordan.
Lind got his second of the game, assisted by Shaun Egan and Zachary Halwachs, to put the Canadians up by two with about five minutes left in the period.
But Mitchell refused to back down as Isaac tallied his second of the game with 2:18 to go before intermission to bring the visitors to within one.
It was all Fort Frances in the second period, though, as the Canadians hit the twine three times, beginning with another unassisted effort by Lind at the 5:21 mark.
Brett Myers found the net on yet another unassisted effort just 40 seconds later, then team captain Tyler Pocock made it 6-2 with 8:36 left in the second stanza.
David Pollard drew an assist on Pocock’s goal.
The third period was simply a matter of the Canadians playing smart and taking no chances as they kept the exhausted Mohawks off the scoreboard.
Brett Perreault rounded out the scoring from Pocock and Myers with 3:46 to play.
After the game, assistant coach Ryan Hilfer said it was not really as easy as it looked. “They only had nine guys, so it wasn’t their best game,” he conceded.
Head coach Dave Egan agreed. “It’s usually more like a one or two-goal difference,” he remarked.
The win put the Canadians alone in first atop the league standings with a perfect 9-0 record. Close behind them are the Portage Terriers, who have fewer wins, but two games in hand.
The two top squads in the nine-team circuit will play for the league championship next month.
Egan said he was particularly impressed with the play of Lind, in his first game on the wing. The former centre was shifted only that day and obviously had no trouble making the adjustment.
“I guess we’ll be leaving him there,” said Egan.
Meanwhile, the Canadians have some unfinished business to the east.
Back on Jan. 24-26, they played a best-of-three series against the Thunder Bay Hurricanes to determine the Northwestern Ontario rep at the upcoming Ontario Winter Games in London.
Thunder Bay won the first two games, but then it was discovered the Hurricanes had used an ineligible player and so the second game was forfeited to Fort Frances.
Plans were in the works to play the third-and-deciding game at a neutral site (likely Atikokan), but Egan said everything is on hold while Thunder Bay appeals the forfeit decision.
The outcome of that appeal were not known by press time last night.