Lakers home opener sees big crowds; team planning community events

By Allan Bradbury
Staff writer

There was a great crowd on hand at Ice Fort Kids Arena for the Lakers home opener last Friday as the Fort Frances Lakers observed the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Attendance was reported as 654 people.

After a 3-0 first period in which the Lakers struggled to clear their own zone and get shots on Kam River’s net, putting just four shots towards Walleye goalie Ashton Sadauskas in the first.

The Lakers came out firing in the second and got several shots on early in the second and looked better overall. Things were looking up after Josh Greene potted a goal on a five on three powerplay with Ryker Watt and Josh Greene picking up the helpers.

But the Lakers’ attempt at any kind of comeback was halted when Kam River scored on what looked to be a hand pass. Kam River scored four in the second and starting goaltender Jack Orchard was given the hook after 20 saves on 26 shots. Backup Lucas Toth took over and saved 15 of 17 the rest of the way.

The Lakers looked a little stronger in the third with goals from newcomer Cobe Delaney and from Jack Wood.

The Fort Frances Lakers powerplay unit celebrates the first goal of the game by defensceman Josh Greene. The goal came on an extended five on three as the Walleye picked up several penalties in the second period of Friday’s game at IFK Arena. The Lakers had trouble clearing the defensive zone Friday night and gave up eight goals on 43 shots. They’ll look to rebound this weekend with the Walleye back in town for a double header. –Allan Bradbury photo

There was a long break after a fracas in the Lakers’ end when it looked like a Laker was speared in the groin. Despite the implementation of all players wearing cages or bubbles on their helmets a fight broke out between Walleye defender Edwin Liang and Lakers Forward Ian Snooks who both got game misconducts. The Lakers fended off the ensuing penalties but the Walleye scored with just 10 seconds remaining in the game to make it 8-3.

The Lakers finished with 14 shots to the Walleye’s 43.

The Lakers dropped to an 0-3 record with the loss and will look to rebound against the Walleye again this weekend with a two-game series.

Treaty event

On Friday the Lakers will join with Seven Generations Education Institute to host Treaty Night. Tuesday Oct. 3 was the 150th anniversary of the signing of Treaty 3. Prior to puckdrop, a pre-game ceremony will involve a ceremonial puck drop with representatives from Treaty First Nations and a performance by the Rainy Lake Singers.

Family tailgate party

On Saturday the Lakers are hosting a tailgate party at the Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre parking lot. The family-friendly event goes from 1-6 p.m. and will feature music by 2-Tone Music, bouncy castles, and food vendors.