Lakers nab two home wins


Plenty of drama equalled two more wins for the Fort Frances Lakers over the weekend at the Ice For Kids Arena.
The Lakers edged the Dryden GM Ice Dogs 5-4 in a shootout Friday night, then went tooth-and-nail with the English River Miners on Saturday before holding on for a 6-5 victory.
Fort Frances (6-1) took over first place in the SIJHL by extending their winning streak to four—despite letting 4-1 leads slip away both nights.
Carter Chorney scored the lone goal of the shootout Friday against Dryden (4-1-0-2) while Devin Tappenden made an outstanding pad save on Troy Williams to close out the breakaway challenge.
Wyatt Cota netted a pair of goals in regulation time, with Colton Spicer and Matt Vela adding singles as the Lakers’ power-play stayed hot with a 3-for-8 effort.
Mason Meyer and Dylan Kooner chipped in with a pair of assists each while Tappenden racked up 42 saves.
Joel Zieroth scored in the second for Dryden, who rallied from three goals down with third-period markers by Derek McPhail, Hank Bouchard, and then Williams with 1:29 left in the third.
Tate Sproxton had 31 saves for the Ice Dogs, who fell out of top spot and now trail the Lakers by two points in the standings.
Then on Saturday, the Lakers gave up the opening goal to Hayden Hickey of still-winless English River (0-6-0-1) before scoring twice in 24 seconds later in the first on goals by Meyer and Jake Holland.
Fort Frances connected with another quick double shot early in the second, as Meyer and Bowen Alcock lit the lamp 41 seconds apart.
But the Miners roared back to tie it before the end of the middle stanza, with Mark Sprong making it 4-2 before Eric Champagne tallied twice 2:05 apart in the last four minutes.
Bryson Jasper steadied the Lakers with his go-ahead marker at 2:32 of the third before Holland notched his second at 9:16.
Champagne completed his hat trick with 42 seconds left in regulation, but the Miners came up short in its search for the equalizer.
Ryan Ferguson turned aside 33 shots in the Lakers’ net while P.D. Melgoza made 22 saves in a losing cause.
The Lakers next head to Thunder Bay tomorrow night to take on the fourth-place North Stars (2-3).
Defenceman Gordon Campbell is expected back in the lineup after completing his three-game suspension following a match penalty for attempt to injure against Dryden on Sept. 24.
The Lakers’ next home game is Oct. 14 against the Minnesota Iron Rangers.