Ice Dogs freeze Lakers

Staff

The Fort Frances Lakers suffered a bit of a big-victory hangover here Tuesday night.
Four days after knocking off the defending SIJHL champion Fort William North Stars 4-2 in their SIJHL season-opener, the Lakers (1-1) couldn’t get much going in a 1-0 loss to the visiting Dryden Ice Dogs (4-1).
Even though Fort Frances outshot Dryden 31-20, there were few occasions where Ice Dogs’ goalie Ian Perrier seemed truly tested.
Jesse Linner tallied the lone goal of the game at 5:31 of the second period, taking a feed from Austin Weih and breaking in on Lakers’ goalie Jameson Shortreed.
Linner went to his backhand and lifted a shot to Shortreed’s right to account for the game’s offence.
The Lakers came to life late in the second period, pressing Dryden in its own zone, but they couldn’t find a way to beat Perrier.
Cody Hasbargen, Byron Katapaytuk, and Ty Brueggeman all had shots ring off the post in the frame, with Brueggeman’s and Hasbargen’s coming from the blueline.
Katapaytuk’s blast came from the wing.
Mike Jourdain, meanwhile, had a wide-open shot on a power play as he tried to net his first of the season, ripping a wrister that Perrier stopped with his left pad.
Katapaytuk had another scoring chance late in the period, taking a centering pass from Davis Smith but Perrier slid across in time to deny the sophomore.
Perrier stopped all 14 shots in the period—and each of the 31 he saw on the night.
The third period was a bit calmer although both goalies traded glove saves to preserve the score.
Shortreed robbed Henry Vadnais with less than three minutes to go to keep the deficit at one while Perrier cemented the win when he flashed the leather on a Marty McFadden point drive with 25.9 seconds left.
Shortreed made 19 saves in a losing cause.
The Lakers’ power-play went 0-for-4, just the second time in seven games, including the pre-season, that Fort Frances was blanked on the man-advantage.
“I don’t think it was anything they [Dryden] did,” said head coach Wayne Strachan. “It was our level of effort throughout the 60 minutes.
“If we would have played anywhere near our capability, we would have given ourselves a good chance to win,” he remarked.
The Lakers will try to get back on the horse tomorrow night when they hit the road for the first time this season against the expansion Wisconsin Wilderness in Spooner.
The teams then will conclude the home-and-home series here Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.