Lakers thumped by Norskies


The Thief River Falls Norskies rode the strength of three power-play goals to a 6-2 romp over the Fort Frances Lakers on Tuesday night in SIJHL action at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.
The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Lakers (4-3).
New Norskies’ defenceman Connor Kalthoff–playing in his first SIJHL game–was the recipient of a faceoff win by Nick Harder back to the point, where he moved in a fired a shot that clipped off a Fort Frances defender and skipped past goalie Alex Bugeja midway through the first period to open the scoring.
The Lakers drew level less than a minute later, however, as Flynn Perry spun around and fired a low shot underneath Norskies’ goalie Seth Purcilly off a Michael Chapman rebound.
Thief River Falls (2-4-1) answered that, though, by tallying twice before the frame was complete as Cameron Murray collected his first SIJHL goal by one-timing a Parker Adair cross-ice pass while Dan Paseschnikoff also picked up his first in the league with just 10 seconds left, finishing off as the trailer on a 2-on-1 chance.
Special teams then helped the Norskies extend their lead in the second frame as they connected twice on the power play to go up 5-1 after 40 minutes of play.
Following another draw won cleanly by Harder, the hosts worked it around before Joe Collins teed one up for Bryce Johnson at the point, as he ripped one from up top for his second of the year.
On another man advantage later in the frame, the Norskies once again worked the puck around with precision that finished with Mason McIntosh burying a chance from the left of Bugeja, who gave way to Dylan Kosik the rest of the way in the Fort Frances net.
The Norskies third power-play marker of night, coming just past the 12-minute mark of the third, added to their cushion as Tyler Johnson blasted one into the open side from the left circle to make it 6-1.
Perry buried his second of the night for the Lakers on a power play with just five seconds left in regulation to round out the scoring.
Thief River Falls outshot Fort Frances 41-31 on the night, with Purcilly earning the win.
Bugeja allowed five goals-against on 27 shots to suffer the loss while Kosik stopped 13-of-14 attempts in nearly 23 minutes of relief.
The Lakers will resume action tomorrow night when they open a home-and-home series with the expansion Wisconsin Lumberjacks (0-5-1) at 7:30 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Fort Frances then will head to Spooner the following night to complete the set.
In other team news, the Lakers traded forward Isaac Baron to the Norskies for a player development fee on Tuesday.
Baron, a Burnsville, Mn. native, registered two assists in five games with the Lakers this season.
Last year, the 20-year-old potted 15 goals and 13 helpers in 45 games with Fort Frances before going pointless in three playoff games.