Lakers extend thanks to community, volunteers

A big thank you goes out to all the people that supported the Fort Frances Lakers food booth at the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championships in the arena.
Thanks go out to chairman Tom Fry and the bass committee for allowing this to happen.
Once again, the many volunteers from the Lakers’ board and fan club, along with their spouses and family members, need to be thanked without their help these events wouldn’t run so smoothly.
We wouldn’t have been able to pull it off without the help of Chris McKinnon and M&M Meats with all of their help and support.
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In some hockey-related news, this past week saw the organization make a trade with the Blind River Beavers of the NOJHL.
In exchange for Justin Erhart and Cody Edwards, both 20-year-olds, the Lakers will receive future considerations.
If fans remember, both players were acquired from Blind River last November and both asked to be traded back to Blind River last week so we got the deal done.
We have moved forward and signed newcomer Marty McFadden from Manitoba.
Marty was in our summer camp this past July and put on a good showing and caught the eye of our staff.
Marty is a defenceman who has Junior “A” experience with the OCN Blizzard of the MJHL and the Pembina Valley Twisters of the MMJHL.
Marty will bring size, be a player that takes care of his own end, and add depth to our defensive ranks.
We also are waiting to know the fate of defenceman Cody Hasbargen this week as he was in an NAHL team’s camp over the weekend. The organization is hoping to see the return of Cody as he will be a big part of our team’s success this season.
The team has also inked for next year Henry Gutierrez.
Henry will return to the team and we hope he returns with the same jump, energy and play he had throughout the playoffs for our squad.
Henry joins eight other returning vets, four newcomers via free agency and two players from a trade, bringing our total to 15 players signed coming into main camp.
Main camp will open Wednesday, Aug. 25 with a tentative registration at noon.
Players will then off-ice test that afternoon and be on the ice for their first scrimmage Wednesday evening.
Thursday will see a similar schedule to Wednesday, Friday will see two scrimmages take place and then one on Saturday morning to close out camp.
The team that will start the year will have the Sunday off and regular practice will commence Monday Aug. 30.
Fans can see the Lakers play in exhibition Friday Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m. vs. the Sioux Lookout Flyers and Wednesday Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. versus the Dryden Ice Dogs.
The SIJHL regular season schedule will also be out for fans to view soon.
As printed in an earlier Coach’s Corner, the Lakers organization hosted the five other teams last week for the scheduling meeting.
In about 3.5 hours, we were finished and are just waiting for a couple of final tweaking before it is released by league officials.
Mark on your calendar Friday Sept. 17 as we will open at home against the defending SIJHL champions the Fort William North Stars at 7:30 p.m.
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In other related news, I will have the pleasure and experience as an assistant coach of heading out this Saturday, Aug. 7 to partake in the Hockey Northwestern Ontario U16 team’s quest to bring home an Ontario championship.
We will commence in Thunder Bay for five days of practice and games before we head to Kitchener to partake in the Championship event.
We will play six games from Thurs. Aug. 12 to Sun. Aug. 15.
The team consists of nine Thunder Bay or HNO central zone players as well as eight players from the HNO western zone region which begins from Ignace and stretches west to Kenora.
We will also add two or three more players to the team before we leave Thunder Bay.
Fort Frances will be represented well as we have four players on the team.
Looking to help the squad our Jordan Larson, Scott Parsons, Judd Gardiman and Colton Spicer.
This will be sure to be a great experience for these four young men.
Successful players from this tournament in Kitchener will be added to the Ontario U16 team that will partake in the Canada Winter Games this coming winter.
The Lakers organization would like to wish these four young men good luck on their quest to bring home an Ontario championship.