The playoffs seem to have given the Fort Frances Lakers new life.
After ending the regular season on a seven-game losing skid, captain Julian Uhryniuk scored twice as the Lakers doubled the English River Miners 4-2 in the opener of their best-of-five quarter-final series last night at the Cochenour Arena.
The Miners opened the scoring when Ethan Wong beat Lakers’ goalie Ismael Ralsten 4:28 into the first period.
Jaedin Ness then drew Fort Frances even just over five minutes later.
Uhryniuk then put the visitors up late in the first as they took a 2-1 lead into intermission.
English River drew level in the second when Kyle Rosolowski sent a power-play blast past Ralsten at 7:23.
But Colton Bodnar put the Lakers ahead once again seven-and-a-half minutes into the third.
Uhryniuk then sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with 29 seconds to go.
Ralsten turned aside 30 shots to get the win in his SIJHL playoff debut while Michael Lenko made 33 stops in taking the loss.
Game 2 goes tonight at 7:30 p.m. back at the Cochenour Arena.
Game 3 is set for Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena, with Game 4 (if necessary) also here Monday at 7:30 p.m.
Should the series end up going the distance, Game 5 is slated for Wednesday (March 28) at 7:30 p.m. at the Cochenour Arena.