Lakers’ winning streak halted

Dan Falloon

The Fort Frances Lakers saw their six-game winning streak come to an end in Dryden last night in a big way.
The host Ice Dogs (13-10-0) throttled the Lakers 6-1, handing Fort Frances (15-7-1) its first loss since falling 3-2 in overtime to Sioux Lookout back on Oct. 28.
With the win, Dryden extended its own winning streak to five games.
The Ice Dogs were consistent throughout the game, tallying twice on 10 shots in each frame.
Beau DiLoreto got things started 5:46 into the game, with Jon Mitchell bumping the lead to 2-0 just over two minutes later.
The Ice Dogs went up by three when Jesse Linner tallied at 8:11 of the second.
Lakers’ captain Tyler Stevenson made it 3-1 with his 23rd of the season just 45 seconds later, but Mitchell’s second power-play tally of the game at 16:39 put the hosts back up by three.
Henry Vadnais and Ben McClellan rounded out the rout with third-period goals.
Tyler Ampe made 24 saves for the Lakers while Ice Dogs’ goalie Ian Perrier turned aside 28.
Playing their fourth game in six nights, the Lakers were coming off a 4-0 win over last-place Sioux Lookout here Tuesday night.
Byron Katapaytuk opened the scoring with his ninth of the season, taking a feed from Ryin Allison and cutting in front of Flyers’ goalie Jesse Wilkins before backhanding the puck home.
Katapaytuk also had a hand in the Lakers’ second goal, passing to Ryan Wildman out front with 44 seconds left in the first.
Jon Sinclair provided the only offence of the second period when he cruised up the left wing and deked out Wilkins for his fourth of the campaign.
Jace Baldwin wrapped up the scoring at 14:57 of the third when he chipped in Garrett Nystedt’s rebound for his seventh goal.
Ampe stopped all 28 shots directed his way while Wilkins, named the SIJHL’s player-of-the-week, stopped 50 for the host Flyers.
Although it was the offence that provided the headlines Tuesday night, it came back to defence for head coach Wayne Strachan.
While acknowledging the Lakers didn’t play outstanding in their own zone, he said the Flyers weren’t exactly making the most of any Fort Frances mistakes.
“Maybe we were a bit sloppy in the first, just with stopping and starting and not getting the puck out,” Strachan recalled.
“But, again, they never really had a quality scoring opportunity, and when they did have time to get the puck on net, Tyler was there all night and did the job.
“But all in all, to come out with no goals against and, obviously, a victory, it’s good to see,” Strachan added.
After completing their busy stretch, the Lakers don’t hit the ice again until next Wednesday (Nov. 24) in Thunder Bay to face the North Stars.
Their next home action is Nov. 26 when the Flyers come back for a re-match at the Ice For Kids Arena.