It looked like youth was going to be refused service at the Ice For Kids Arena on Tuesday night.
The senior ‘AAA’ Fort Frances Thunderhawks had their way with the junior ‘A’ Fort Frances Lakers in the early going of their exhibition showdown, then held on for a 6-5 victory.
The T’hawks exploded for four goals in the first period, beginning with Ian Lockman beating Lakers’ goalie Jameson Shortreed just 91 seconds into the game.
Cody Mosbeck followed with a shorthanded marker at 4:34 before Dennis Morrison made it 3-0 at the 7:01 mark, making it appear that the rout was on.
Myles Kuharski wrapped up the Thunderhawks’ first-period roll with a tally at 18:19.
Lakers’ defenceman Josh Scott got his team on the board at 7:20 of the second as a slapper from the point eluded T’hawks goalie (and former Laker) T.J. Pocock.
Byron Katapaytuk then cut the gap to 4-2 with a backhander at 10:54, but Morrison struck back at 12:47 for the T’hawks.
What followed was a flurry of goals, with Henry Gutierrez notching a goal for the Lakers at 15:58, Lockman replying off a scramble 51 seconds later, and then Cody Hasbargen lighting the lamp 49 seconds after that to make it 6-4 for the T’hawks after two.
Tyler Stevenson notched the lone goal of the third period to bring the Lakers within one but they couldn’t net the equalizer after pulling goalie Tyler Ampe, who played the second half of the game.
The Lakers return to SIJHL action New Year’s Eve when they visit the Clydesdales in Duluth, then will host that same squad Jan. 7 at 7:30 p.m.
The T’hawks, meanwhile, hit the ice again Jan. 11 when the Kenora Thistles visit the ’52 Canadians Arena for an 8 p.m. start.