It is only the pre-season but wins still feel good.
The Fort Frances Lakers got off to a winning start in SIJHL exhibition play by sweeping both games of a home-and-home series against the Minnesota Iron Rangers over the weekend.
The Lakers used a well-balanced attack last night, getting goals from six different players in a 6-2 victory at the Ice For Kids Arena here.
The teams traded a pair of goals in the first period, with Kaleb Bruyere and Kirk Coppock connecting for the Lakers while Cameron Kearse and Kip Knutson countered for the visitors.
A power play helped the Lakers net the eventual game-winner in the second period as Jake Clendenning connected just 18 seconds into the frame.
Noah Loveday added one at even-strength a 90 seconds later before Isaac Baron made it 5-2 after 40 minutes.
Nick Lucas capped the scoring late in the third when be broke in alone on goal before tucking one past Iron Rangers’ goalie Synjen Amende.
Dawson Rodin picked up the win as the Lakers outshot the Iron Rangers 55-20.
Kolton Kringstad started for Minnesota, turning aside 18-of-22 shots he saw while Amende stopped 31-of-33 in relief.
Saturday night’s contest was much closer but the Lakers ultimately came out on top by a 3-2 margin at the Hoyt Lakes Arena.
Jaedin Ness’ goal seven-and-a-half minutes into the third to be the winner as the Lakers kicked off their pre-season schedule on the right foot.
Brett Hahkala and Loveday also scored for the Lakers while Tyler Szturm earned the win, finishing with 11 saves on 13 shots.
Garrett Wojcicki and Aaron Koivunen replied for the Iron Rangers, Amende finishing with 34 saves in taking the loss.
The Lakers continue pre-season play this Friday (Sept. 14) when they host the Red Lake Miners at 7:30 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Then they’ll wrap up exhibition action on Saturday (Sept. 15) at 7:30 p.m. against those same Miners, this time at the Cochenour Arena.
The Lakers kick-off their regular season on Friday, Sept. 21 versus the host Dryden GM Ice Dogs.