Lakers’ series dates finalized


The SIJHL has released the schedule for the best-of-seven semi-final series between the Fort Frances Lakers and Dryden GM Ice Dogs.
The battle begins tomorrow night in Dryden, with Game 2 going there Thursday.
The series then switches to Fort Frances, with Game 3 set for Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Game 4 will go next Tuesday (April 4).
Game 5 (if necessary) will be back in Dryden on April 7 while Game 6, if needed, is set for Monday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the IFK Arena.
Should the series go the distance, Game 7 will be played Wednesday, April 12 in Dryden.
The other semi-final series between the second-place Thunder Bay North Stars and third-place English River Miners doesn’t get going until Saturday in the Lakehead.
In other news, Lakers’ forwards Jared Virtanen and Dylan Kooner yesterday were selected to the SIJHL’s CCM Hockey 1st and 2nd all-star teams, respectively.
The 20-year-old linemates both hail from Abbotsford, B.C.
A first-year Laker, Virtanen was fourth overall in league scoring with 74 points in 44 games, including an SIJHL-high 52 assists.
He was second in the league in points per game (1.68) and is a candidate for the SIJHL’s MVP award.
Kooner, the Lakers’ captain who was named the league’s most sportsmanlike player this season, was sixth in the league with 68 points in 55 games.
Fellow Laker Maverick Lynes earned an honourable mention on defence while head coach and general manager Wayne Strachan got the same nod in the all-star general manager category.
Not surprisingly, the first-place Ice Dogs led all SIJHL clubs with five 1st team all-stars and two 2nd team ones.
SIJHL scoring champ Braeden Allkins and Jacen Bracko join Virtanen as 1st-team forwards while goalie Patrick Zubick, head coach Kurt Walsten, and trainer/equipment manager Neil Bruetsch also secured spots on the 1st team.
Forward Braedyn Aubin joined Kooner on the 2nd team, along with defenceman Tristan Knott.
Rounding out the 1st team were defencemen Trevor Pereverzoff (English River) and Ryan Walsh (Thunder Bay), along with general manager Kevin McCallum (Thief River Falls Norskies).
Also making the 2nd team were forward Sidney Gladue (English River), defenceman Joe Newhouse (Thunder Bay), and goalie Michael Lenko (Thief River Falls).
Rounding out the nods were coach Cole Workman (Thief River Falls), general manager Derek Sweet-Coulter (English River), and trainer/equipment manager Kurtis McCallum (Thief River Falls).