Lakers to open season at home


The Superior International Junior Hockey League has released its regular-season schedule for the 2011/12 campaign.
Opening night for the seven-team SIJHL is slated for Friday, Sept. 16, when the Fort Frances Lakers open their season at the friendly confines of the Ice for Kids Arena at 7:30 p.m. against the Thunder Bay North Stars—this year’s Dudley Hewitt Cup hosts.
The other game that night will see the defending Bill Salonen Cup champion Wisconsin Wilderness begin their title defence on the road against the Sioux Lookout Flyers.
A night later, the Lakers host the North Stars again while the Duluth Clydesdales and Dryden Ice Dogs begin their seasons with home games against Thunder Bay and Wisconsin, respectively.
The expansion Iron Range Ironheads won’t play their first game until Friday, Sept. 30 in Duluth.
The home-opener for the Ironheads is set for Oct. 23 when they will host Sioux Lookout in Chisholm—one of five locations the new squad will playing home games at this season.
Each team in the league will play 56 games, including 27 at home and 27 on the road.
The other two will occur during the SIJHL’s second-annual “Showcase Weekend,” which takes place Jan. 21-22 in Duluth.
The regular season will conclude during the final week of February, with six weeks of playoff hockey taking place soon after to determine this year’s Bill Salonen Cup winner as well as determine which team will join Thunder Bay at the Dudley Hewitt Cup in April.