Knights kings of Kenora

With the might of their opponent’s hometown crowd against them, the Fort Frances K of C Knights still kept their “McCool” when they needed it most.
Cody McCool scored twice, and Blake Wepruk netted the game-winner, as the local PeeWee ‘AA’ squad beat the Kenora Thistles 3-1 on Sunday in the championship final of the Lake of the Woods tournament in Kenora.
The Knights, who were a perfect 4-0 in the tourney, had thumped the Thistles 32-3 in three previous meetings this year—and looked to be on their way to another dominating performance in the first period.
McCool scored on an end-to-end rush, then Wepruk followed that up with a tally of his own to make it 2-0 just five minutes into the game.
But a dogged Thistles side refused to buckle, with Ben Edie putting his team on the board when his power-play goal in the second beat Knights’ goalie Brady Caul.
But Caul would be solid the rest of the way, and McCool added an insurance marker in the third, to give the Knights their second tournament win in as many weeks.
The Assiniboia Park Rangers (Winnipeg) were the first to feel the Knights’ fury as Fort Frances blanked the big-city crew 6-0 in their opener.
Fort Frances led 2-0 after two periods before breaking out for four in the third to leave the Rangers in their wake. Patrick Bobczynski, McCool, Wepruk, Mitch Cain, Matt DePiero, and Joe Basaraba all scored while T.J. Pocock earned the shutout.
The Knights faced their first real adversity of the season in their next outing against the Steinbach Millers, but fought back for a 6-4 win.
The Millers had Fort Frances backed into a corner, leading 3-1 after two periods. But Basaraba trimmed the lead early in the third, before Cain and DePiero each tallied twice (with DePiero’s second being an empty-netter).
Evan McCabe had the other Knights’ goal. Derek Lupky, Yohnatan Penner, Brett Adnum, and Colin Hamm replied for Steinbach.
With their two victories earning them a bye into the semi-finals, Fort Frances was well-rested and well-prepared as they downed the Dryden Appollos 5-3.
The Appollos—who had lost 8-1 to the Knights in the final of the previous weekend’s tournament in Dryden—put forth a much better effort in the semi-final this time.
But Cain stepped up with a four-point game, including a pair of goals, to lead Fort Frances. Bobczynski also notched a pair while Basaraba added a single.
Kevin Trott (two) and Eli Napish scored in a losing cause for Dryden.
The next tournament action for the Knights will be Dec. 19-21 in Morden, Man.