The Fort Frances Lakers finished off their three-game exhibition schedule in style here Saturday with a 4-3 overtime win against the K&A Wolverines.
Returning forward Colton Kennedy’s blast from the point in the extra frame sent the Ice for Kids Arena crowd home happy.
“I was on the ice for three minutes in overtime, and Wayne [Strachan] just said ‘Stay on the point, stay on the point’ and I said to Byron [Katapaytuk], ‘Get me the puck because I’m going to score,’” Kennedy recalled.
“Sure enough, he tossed me a nice pass off the side wall and I hammered it post and in.
“I wanted to get one in pre-season to get it going and I did,” Kennedy added. “It came late, but came at the right time.”
Henry Gutierrez had put the Lakers up 2-0 with a pair of goals on tic-tac-toe plays in the first period, then Katapaytuk was credited with the Lakers’ third goal early in the second on a scrambled play in the Wolverines’ slot.
Defensive breakdowns by the Lakers allowed the Wolverines to get back in the game before the end of the period.
Nathan Spina made the Lakers pay—scoring twice within a minute to change the complexion of the game.
The Wolverines knotted the score at 3-3 with a goal early in the third when Lakers’ goalie Coleman Wetherelt failed to cover a loose puck in front.
Wetherelt, who was brought in last week to battle for the starting goalie position, looked uncomfortable between the pipes and was released after the game.
The Lakers are set to open the SIJHL regular season this Thursday (Sept. 17) against the visiting Fort William North Stars.