For most of the first two periods Friday, the Fort Frances Lakers’ winless pre-season was a distant memory.
But it all came rushing back by the end of the night–and continued on into Saturday.
The Lakers blew a 4-1 lead in falling 5-4 in a shootout to the Thief River Falls Norskies in their SIJHL regular-season opener at the Ice For Kids Arena.
The Norskies (2-0) then cruised to a 6-1 win the following night to wrap up the home-and-home series.
Johnny Bennis scored with nine seconds left in regulation time to tie Friday night’s game.
He also scored in the shootout, along with the game-winner by Connor Schuster.
Parker Simonson added two goals for Thief River Falls while Cody Aarvig had a single.
Brock Lefebvre made 36 saves through regulation and overtime, then stopped four-of-five shootout chances.
New Lakers’ captain Julian Uhryniuk netted the team’s first goal of the season while newcomers Jordan Sgro and Damien Caringi (power play) also scored in the opening period.
Caringi added his second at 11:44 of the second and also had the Lakers’ lone tally in the shootout.
Rob Ivy had 35 saves through regulation and overtime in his first regular-season game as a Laker, and made three stops in the shootout.
The Lakers (0-1-0-1) return to action tomorrow night in Dryden against the defending SIJHL champion GM Ice Dogs (2-0).
Their next home is this Friday at 7:30 p.m. against those same Ice Dogs.