There weren’t many surprises at the Ice For Kids Arena on Tuesday night.
The Fort Frances Lakers tallied yet another power-play goal, snipers Tyler Stevenson and Byron Katapaytuk were responsible for a pair of tallies, and the home team got another quality goaltending performance in a 3-2 win over Dryden.
Perhaps the one surprise to local fans may have been the source of the 29-save performance as Tyler Ampe came up with some big stops to help the Lakers improve to 3-2 on the young SIJHL season.
Ampe was given the start because Jameson Shortreed is in Penticton, B.C. attending a tryout for Team West’s entry into the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge, which will be held there in November.
The Ice Dogs (4-4) didn’t seem to mind Shortreed’s absence, pouncing on Ampe in the early going.
The Hermantown, Mn. native made a flurry of saves in one series about five minutes into the game, diving across the crease to deny a puck that nearly squeaked in before blocking numerous rebounds aside.
The Lakers rewarded Ampe for his play later in the frame when Katapaytuk caught a break and backhanded a shot past Dryden goalie Ian Perrier at 13:09.
The goal kicked off a wild series of play as the Ice Dogs responded just 13 seconds later.
Right off the face-off, Dryden crashed the Lakers’ zone, resulting in Jacob Ransom taking a feed from Julius Tamasy and knocking the puck into the open net.
But with the Lakers regaining control of the play shortly after, Stevenson, denied on a glorious scoring chance moments earlier, made no mistake in depositing a pass from Blake Boaz at 15:02.
The second period was mostly uneventful until Jaret Leclair dropped the gloves with Henry Vadnais.
The tilt, which eventually ended when Vadnais wrestled Leclair to the ice, gave the Ice Dogs some jump.
Minutes after the bout, Ryan Lobreau scored after the puck came to him on a fanned shot by defenceman Jon Mitchell to even the score at 2-2 at 14:12.
The Lakers responded quickly, however, as Boaz stripped an Ice Dogs’ defenceman of the puck at the blueline and deked out Perrier for the shorthanded tally at 17:23.
Fort Frances tried to extend its lead but Jon Sinclair had a wrister clang off the post while newcomer Jake Wentz was unable to trick Perrier after breaking in alone with a stolen puck.
Perrier made 24 saves on the night.
The Lakers next play a home-and-home with the Sioux Lookout Flyers.
It begins tomorrow night in Sioux Lookout before wrapping up here Saturday at 7:30 p.m.