Cracking top 20 a nice honour

The Fort Frances Lakers are fresh off a big weekend that saw us win a pair of hard-fought battles.
The SIJHL’s first-annual “Showcase” tournament has come and gone, and the players should be proud of themselves.
We put in two solid games as a team down in Spooner, Wis. We didn’t rely on one line, one player, or one aspect of our game.
It was our best two efforts of the season so far and a solid performance by all who played. Our goaltending was strong, our defence all played well and complemented one another, and we had efforts from all lines to contribute to the two wins.
Good to see from my perspective as we answered the bell in a couple of pressure games.
Our efforts at the tournament, and through the early going of the season, have brought some special accolades for our team and players. This week our team cracked the top 20 of the CJHL rankings for the first time.
Although it is still young in the season, and we have a long way to go until the playoffs, it was a nice honour to obtain for this young team that’s continuing to grow.
Many of our players were noticed for their play at the “Showcase” from the many scouts from NCAA schools.
The other big news this week is goalie Jameson Shortreed being named to represent Team Canada West at the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge next month in Penticton, B.C.
It’s a huge honour for this young man and he is very deserving of this announcement for all his hard work. It will be a great experience for him, a learning experience, and great for our organization as it shows we care and develop our players for bigger and better futures.
Jameson will represent himself, our team, and the towns of Fort Frances and Emo well, and this even may bring other opportunities for our players at it will be sure to attract many scouts our way once they see him play.
But, with all that has happened and went on in a short four days, we must remain on an even keel with our emotions and minds, and remember that our hard work has helped us accomplish these feats.
We must not get complacent or satisfied with what has happened in this young season—and keep our noses to the grindstone to continue to grow stronger as a team.
This will have to happen Tuesday and Thursday night this week as we host Dryden and Sioux Lookout, respectively.
Dryden has snapped its losing skid with two shutout wins while Sioux Lookout is a team that’s replaced coaches and now is starting to move in the right direction.
So it surely will be a tough week for our squad and some good hockey for all to come out and watch.
On tap next month, we will play 11 games—five at home in front of our great fans and six on the road against all of the SIJHL teams. It will be a good test for our team as we will see how we match up against everyone in the month.
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On the team front, we made a trade since playing home last, sending Jake Wentz to Sioux Lookout for Brad Bienvenu.
Brad has fit in nicely with our team. He is a good leader, brings a big physical presence, and has chipped in a couple of points since his arrival.
We are very happy with Brad coming our way.
Meanwhile, forward Mike Jourdain, who left the team at the beginning of October, has decided to hang his skates up as his dad reported to our board president last Thursday.
We had a chance to move Mike to a few SIJHL teams, but he has chosen to not further his hockey career.
The Lakers wish Mike the best of luck in his future.
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We would like to thank all the fans who participated in the “winter coat toss” held during yesterday evening’s game against Dryden.
It is good to see the support for the annual coat drive of the Associates of St. Marguerite d’Youville. It is much appreciated, and both our organization and the associates thank you!
Our next home game after this week will be on Friday, Nov. 5 versus the expansion Duluth Clydesdales.
I hope to see a big crowd as we have built a bit of a rivalry with this team and it is sure to be a entertaining game.