It seems to never get easier for the Fort Frances Lakers when they face the Thunder Bay North Stars.
That was the story again Friday night as they dropped a 5-1 decision at the Fort William Gardens.
The loss was the Lakers' third this month to the North Stars and fourth-straight overall.
Bradley Thrower paced Thunder Bay's attack by scoring twice, including the eventual game-winner, and adding an assist.
The North Stars struck first at 8:34 of the opening frame when Thrower connected on a power play.
Jaedin Ness replied for the Lakers at 17:34 with his 11th of the season to head to the second period tied at 1-1.
Thrower gave the North Stars a 2-1 lead at 11:31 before Brendan Gillis extended it at 15:18.
Things continued to go the North Stars' way in the third.
Tom Von Schoenberg, making his SIJHL debut, upped it to 4-1 6:01 into the period with a power-play goal.
Alexander Erwin then capped the scoring 28 seconds later, with Von Schoenberg picking up his first assist.
Dougie Newhouse earned the win in goal, making 22 stops.
Brett Akins, seeing his first action since a 5-3 win over the Minnesota Iron Rangers back on Nov. 10, suffered the loss.
Shots on goal favoured the North Stars by a 45-23 margin.
The North Stars went 2-for-4 with the man-advantage while the Lakers went 1-for-3.
Up next for the Lakers (6-13-1-1) is a tough test against the SIJHL-leading Thief River Falls Norskies (21-1-0-0) this Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.
The Dryden GM Ice Dogs (15-2-3-1) currently occupy second place in the SIJHL with 34 points, followed by the North Stars (12-7-3-0) with 27.
The English River Miners (9-10-0-2) have the fourth spot with 20 points.
Fort Frances sits in fifth place with 14 while the Minnesota Iron Rangers (1-17-1-2) remain in the cellar with just five points on the season.