It’s been an up and down season for the Fort Frances Lakers and it was much of the same over the weekend.
A spirited effort saw the Lakers pull out a 5-2 win over the visiting Red Lake Miners on Friday night but it was a much different story for the squad yesterday afternoon as a lackadaisical effort led to a 3-0 loss to the expansion Wisconsin Lumberjacks.
Both games took place at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Wisconsin Lumberjacks’ goalie Nathan Mueller turned aside all 33 shots he faced to register his SIJHL-leading fourth shutout of the season as the Lumberjacks blanked the Lakers in a Family Day matinee game here.
Cade Moreland collected the eventual game-winner just 7:18 into the first period as he buried 17th of the campaign past Lakers’ goalie Alex Bugeja.
Action in the middle frame saw Lukas Lundgren add to the Wisconsin (19-24-3-1) lead early with Nicholas Solema and Darren Shykes being credited with assists.
Solema then picked up his second helper of the day in the third as he set-up Matt Turnbull for his sixth with 12:06 to go to round out the scoring.
Bugeja made 30 saves in defeat for the Lakers (16-24-3-1).
On Friday night, the Lakers broke open a third period tie with three unanswered goals to send them on their way to an eventual 5-2 win over the Miners.
Fort Frances began strong as it skated out to 2-0 lead after 20 minutes on markers from Noah Loveday (power play) and Ben Hoefler.
The first-place Miners (29-14-3-2) came out quickly in the middle stanza as their captain, Shaye Sommerfeld, put the visitors on the board just 19 seconds in as he notched his 15th goal of the campaign.
Up a skater just over 10 minutes later, the Miners drew level with Spencer Milne supplying a personal single-season-best 19th to knot the affair at 2-2 after 40 minutes.
But in the third, the Lakers came back with the eventual game-winner from Matthew Dyck at 4:45.
They then capped off the win with late efforts from Peyton Hughes and Mathieu Harrold to help secure the win.
Bugeja made 36 saves to earn the win while Red Lake’s Zach Willms faced 45 shots in suffering the loss.
The fifth-place Lakers will resume action tomorrow night when they take on the fourth-place Dryden GM Ice Dogs (20-20-4) at the Lac Seul Events Centre.
The Lakers then will return home for a pair of games this weekend.
Fort Frances will host the Lumberjacks on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. before welcoming the Ice Dogs in an afternoon showdown on Sunday (Feb. 23) at 4 p.m.
Both games will take place at the Ice For Kids Arena, in the Fort Frances Memorial Sports Centre.