A Morgan Venne goal four-and-a-half minutes into the third period proved to the game-winner as the Red Lake Miners dumped the Fort Frances Lakers 5-3 in SIJHL action on Tuesday night at the Cochenour Arena.
The Miners (14-8-2-1) were quick to welcome recently acquired Fort Frances goalie Dean Buchholz as Shaye Summerfeld stuffed one in from the right of the crease on the first shift of the game to open the scoring.
Red Lake then went up by a pair as Sean Gula buried his third of the season at 6:39.
Battling back, the Lakers (11-12-1) got going offensively near the 15-minute mark when Nakoda Thunderchief put the guests on the board to trim it to 2-1.
The Lakers then drew level with 10 seconds left in the frame as Stone Stelzl intercepted a clearing attempt and slid a shot under Red Lake goalie Zach Willms from the high slot.
Each side tallied once in the second stanza, with Matthieu Harrold connecting for the visitors while Noah Kwasny countered for Red Lake.
Venne snapped home his 12th of the season from the right side 4:25 into the third to give the Miners a 4-3 lead.
Ryan Howe then added some insurance eight-and-a-half minutes later after he finished off a 2-on-1 chance with William Walsh to round out the scoring.
Willms made 22 saves to earn the win while Bucholz finished with 32 stops to take the loss in his Lakers’ debut.
The fifth-place Lakers next will be in action tomorrow night when they play the first of back-to-back road games against the league-leading Thunder Bay North Stars (17-6-2).
Both Friday and Saturday’s contests will take place at the Fort Williams Gardens.
The Lakers next are at home on Tuesday (Dec. 17) when they host the expansion Wisconsin Lumberjacks (5-17-2) at 7 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.