Lakers sweep weekend games

Lucas Punkari

The Fort Frances Lakers are still undefeated in their SIJHL pre-season slate following two games at the Ice for Kids Arena this past weekend, as they edged the Wisconsin Wilderness by a score of 6-4 yesterday afternoon, after they throttled the Sioux Lookout Flyers 10-0 on Friday night.
After trading goals throughout the first two periods yesterday, the Lakers were able to pull away from the defending SIJHL champion Wilderness in the third frame, thanks to goals by Henry Gutierrez and Byron Katapaytuk.
“They really took it to us there in the second period,” Lakers head coach and general manager Wayne Strachan said.
“During the intermission I talked to the guys about what they needed to do against Wisconsin in order to compete against them not just in the third period, but for the rest of the season, and the guys were able to respond,” Strachan added.
Katapaytuk also added two assists to the cause to finish the afternoon with three points, while teammate Adam Wensley also had a three point outing with a pair of goals and one helper.
Jaret Leclair and Blake Boaz also scored for the Lakers in the victory, which went to goaltender Tanner Hamilton. Nick Drill, Zach Blaisdell and Andre Rakas all had three point afternoons in the loss for the Wilderness, in what was their first game of the pre-season.
Both teams will be going head-to-head with each other once again tonight in Spooner, Wisc. at 7:00 p.m., in what is the final game of the pre-season in the SIJHL before the regular season begins this Friday night.
“I want to make sure that we don’t get into a run-and-gun type game with them, because even though they have a lot of new players on their roster, they are still very dangerous,” Strachan, whose team will open up their regular season at home on Friday against the Thunder Bay North Stars, stressed.
“They (Wisconsin) have only been together for about a week now so we would like to take it to them early on tonight.
“But at the same time, we are also playing our fourth game in five nights,” Strachan noted.
As for this past Friday’s exhibition contest between the Lakers and the Flyers, the home side peppered the Sioux Lookout net with 55 shots on goal and had opened up a six goal lead before the game had reached the halfway point.
Defenceman Jon Carlson led the way for the Lakers with two goals and an assists with Jordan Larson also lighting the lamp twice in the victory.
Alex Bruess added a goal and an assist to the scoresheet while Gutierrez, Wensley, Connor Hady, Dane Morin and Mike Riffel also finding the back of the net.
At the other end of the rink, netminder Tyler Ampe turned aside all 31 shots he faced to pickup the shutout.