Tyler Malpass seems to be finding his offensive groove lately.
The Sault. Ste. Marie native scored twice to pace the Fort Frances Lakers to a 6-4 win over the Thief River Falls Norskies last night in SIJHL action at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.
It was the second victory in a row for the Lakers after snapping a season high six-game losing skid.
After a quiet start to the year offensively, Malpass now has four goals and an assist over the last three games and sits with four tallies and five helpers in 16 games this year with Fort Frances.
Clad in “Military Appreciation Night” jerseys, the Norskies (11-8-2) opened the scoring just a couple of minutes into the first period as Joe Collins snapped one high past Fort Frances goalie Dylan Kosik.
A lucky bounce helped the Lakers (9-10-1) draw even 40 seconds later as Nick Hahkala banked a shot from behind the net off a Norskies’ defender and in.
Malpass then converted on a power-play chance moments later as he banged one in from close range to put the Lakers up 2-1.
But shortly after that, the hosts tied it again off the stick of former Laker Isaac Baron.
Flynn Perry and Matthew Dyck both connected in the second to put the Lakers up by two before Baron’s second of the night brought the Norskies back to within one at 4-3 as he clicked on the power play at 15:10.
Gavin Miller then knotted it at four apiece just past the five-minute mark of the third, only to see Lakers’ captain Noah Loveday strike 22 seconds later in what proved to be the game-winner.
Malpass then added some insurance with under nine minutes remaining as he capitalized with Fort Frances on another man advantage to cap the scoring.
Kosik made 29 saves to earn the win while Joshua Seeley suffered his first loss in the SIJHL in stopping 20 shots.
The Lakers will resume action tomorrow night when they host the league-leading Thunder Bay North Stars (14-3-2) at 7:30 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.