Lakers make moves prior to opener

Lucas Punkari

With their 2011/12 SIJHL schedule set to get underway tonight at 7:30 p.m. against the Thunder Bay North Stars at the Ice For Kids Arena here, the Fort Frances Lakers have made a couple of roster moves prior to the start of the season.
The Lakers first traded the protected list rights of Chris Belhumeur to the Dryden Ice Dogs before making a transaction with the Duluth Clydesdales where they acquired Mike Jourdain for future considerations.
Jourdain, a 1991 birth date forward from Couchiching, split time last season with the Lakers and the Clydesdales and had two assists during the course of the season.
As for Belhumeur, who is a 1993 birth date forward from Swan River, Man., played for the Parkland Rangers of the MMHL last season where he had 16 goals and 10 assists in 45 games.
In addition to the trades, the Lakers also made a decision to part ways with forward Diego Breckenridge, as the team needed to make a decision on the amount of import and 20-year-old players that were on their roster.
“It was a tough decision to as we liked a lot of things Diego did on the ice,” Lakers head coach and general manager Wayne Strachan explained.
“He was the hardest worker out there all of the time and he was also a good person.
“He has made his way to Dryden (to play for the Ice Dogs) and we will get the opportunity to see him play next week (on Tuesday night in Dryden) against us,” Strachan continued
“It’s never easy at this time of the year to make those tough decisions, but it is a part of the game,” Strachan stressed,
Going into tonight’s contest, the Lakers will be without the services of forward Alex Bruess, as the former International Falls Bronco forward will be sidelined for the next six weeks as a result of a facial injury he suffered in last Friday’s 10-0 victory over the Sioux Lookout Flyers in an exhibition contest here.
However, the Lakers are expected to have both Ryan Wildman and Jordan Larson return to the fold tonight, after both players attended the Canada West Evaluation Camp in Canmore, Alb., for the upcoming 2011 World Junior A Challenge.
Following tonight’s game against Thunder Bay, the Lakers will be back in action tomorrow evening at 7:30 p.m., when they will welcome Sioux Lookout to the Ice for Kids Arena.