Apparently, the K&A Wolverines didn’t get the memo about how they were supposed to be the more tired squad.
The Wolverines blitzed the Fort Frances Lakers to the tune of 57-18 on the shot clock, and scored twice in the final 20 minutes, to capture a 4-2 victory in SIJHL action last night in Thunder Bay.
K&A (8-16-4) had lost 9-3 on Wednesday night to the first-place Fort William North Stars while the Lakers (6-15-3) hadn’t played since beating the Wisconsin Mustangs 9-6 here Tuesday night.
But the fourth-place Wolverines, who now lead Fort Frances by five points (although the Lakers hold four games in hand), looked much the fresher team on the ice last night.
Were it not for the heroics of goalie Jameson Shortreed and his 55 saves, the final result would have been much worse for the Lakers.
K&A outshot the visitors 20-4 in the first period but the game remained scoreless.
That changed at 1:22 of the second when Hartwell Marable opened the scoring for the Wolverines.
The Lakers responded at 4:13 when Henry Gutierrez set up Jake Ransom for his fifth goal of the season.
The two teams then exchanged power-play goals, with Patrick Pinder making it 2-1 for K&A at 10:51 before Morgan McNeill replied for Fort Frances at 12:53.
The third period was all Wolverines, who fired 19 shots at Shortreed and allowed only four
K&A grabbed the lead for good on Luke Haegele’s goal at 5:08.
Chris Smerek then added some insurance at 7:10 when he connected with the man advantage while Jordan Carne was off for holding.
Jean-Rock Thibert made 16 saves to improve to 5-4-0-1 for K&A while Shortreed saw his record fall to 4-11-1-1.
The Lakers now get a week off before their next game on Thursday, Dec. 3 in Sioux Lookout against the third-place Flyers (10-12-2) .
Fort Frances won’t see action at the Ice For Kids Arena again until Dec. 12 when K&A comes to town.