The Fort Frances Lakers’ slow start to the SIJHL regular season continued over the weekend.
First-year forward Evan Walls tallied twice, and assisted on two more, to lead the Dryden GM Ice Dogs to a 5-1 win Saturday night at the Ice for Kids Arena here.
The Lakers (1-3-0-1) opened the scoring when Anthony Antonelli netted his first SIJHL goal on a power play at 12:22 of the first period.
Dryden knotted the score four minutes later on a goal by Chris Atanas.
Walls set up Luke Bellerose 50 seconds into the second, then notched his first goal of the game shorthanded at 8:19.
The Ice Dogs sealed the win on third-period markers by Wyatt Lawrence and Walls.
Logan Sawka made 27 stops to earn the win while Rob Ivy faced 48 shots in defeat.
It was a similar story Friday night in Cochenour as the Lakers fell 4-2 to the host English River Miners.
Ethan Wong collected his first two SIJHL goals as the Miners registered their first win of the season.
After a scoreless first period, the Lakers again struck first 7:45 into the second on Damien Carigni’s third tally of the season.
Wong tied it later in the frame–only to see the Lakers go back in front less than two minutes later on a Jaedin Ness tally.
But the hosts rallied in the third, drawing even on Matt O’Neill’s goal just 38 seconds into the period.
Jared Janke then netted the eventual game-winner with 11:02 to go.
The Lakers pulled their goalie in the late going in an effort to force overtime, but Wong sealed the victory with an empty-netter in the final minute.
Michael Lenko made 30 saves to register the victory while Ivy faced 26 shots in defeat.
The Lakers next host the Minnesota Iron Rangers this Friday (Oct. 6) at 7:30 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Then they hit the road for games Saturday (Oct. 7) in Dryden and next Wednesday (Oct. 11) against the Thunder Bay North Stars.
The Thief River Falls Norskies led the standings with a 4-0-0-0 record (eight points), followed by the Ice Dogs with seven (3-0-0-1).
The North Stars (2-0-0-1) sit in third place with four points.
The Lakers are next with three points while the Miners (1-2-0-0) are in fifth with two.
The Iron Rangers (0-3-0-1) are last in the six-team league with one point.
(Editor’s note: This article was compiled based on information posted on the SIJHL website).