Lakers back atop SIJHL


The Fort Frances Lakers are back atop the SIJHL standings after a pair of weekend road wins.
The Lakers (14-6-1) nipped Sioux Lookout 4-3 in overtime on Friday night before getting past Wisconsin 6-4 on Saturday to put them two points ahead of Thunder Bay and three up on the Wilderness.
The Lakers jumped out to a 2-0 first-period lead against the host Flyers.
Phil Jennrich opened the scoring at 5:31 with his second goal of the season before Ryin Allison notched his first goal as a Laker at 12:56.
Nelson Rosiak cut the deficit to 2-1 3:27 into the second, but Marty McFadden’s second of the year—a power-play marker at 11:46—restored the Lakers’ two-goal lead.
The Flyers tallied twice in the third to force overtime. Jacob Nolan tallied at 7:57 before former Laker Jake Wentz knotted the game at 14:16.
But Henry Gutierrez salvaged the win with his sixth of the season 2:54 into the extra session, handing the Lakers the extra point.
Markus Leikkari, an associate player called up while Jameson Shortreed was a member of Canada West at the World Jr. ‘A’ Challenge in Penticton, B.C., made 27 saves for Fort Frances while Jesse Wilkins­—who already had beaten the Lakers twice this season—turned aside 47 shots in a losing cause.
The big name in Saturday night’s win in Spooner was Jaret Leclair.
The feisty forward tallied four times—doubling his season output and matching his entire total from last year.
After Leclair opened the scoring at 3:53 of the first, Nathan Paulson and Andrew Anderson notched goals before the frame was through to put Wisconsin up 2-1 after one.
But Leclair tallied the equalizer 47 seconds into the second before Tyler Stevenson put the Lakers ahead with a power-play marker at 9:41.
Leclair completed his hat trick at 17:38 of the frame.
Stevenson then made it 5-2 with another power-play goal at 7:13 of the third.
With the pair, Stevenson now has 22 goals in 21 games, surpassing last season’s total of 21 in 50 games.
As well, 16 of his markers have come with the man advantage.
Wisconsin made a game of it late. James Kline tallied at 16:37, then Austin Adduono brought the Wilderness to within one just 58 seconds later.
Beat Leclair sealed the deal with an empty-netter with 38 seconds left on the clock.
Tyler Ampe made 40 saves to earn the win while John McLean turned aside 33 shots for the Wilderness.
The win also spoiled Wisconsin’s perfect home record. The Wilderness had been 8-0-0 at home entering the game.
Fort Frances, meanwhile, will put its five-game winning streak on the line tomorrow night when the Flyers visit the Ice For Kids Arena at 7:30 p.m.
The Flyers were the last team to beat the Lakers, having earned a 3-2 overtime win here back on Oct. 28.