It was a tough weekend to start the SIJHL pre-season schedule for the Fort Frances Lakers.
The Dryden GM Ice Dogs beat the Lakers by scores of 6-3 and 3-0 to sweep the weekend home-and-home series.
Six different skaters tallied for the Ice Dogs to help them double the Lakers 6-3 in the pre-season opener for both teams Friday night at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Each side scored once in the first period, with former Sioux Lookout Warriors' sniper Cortez Favot connecting for Dryden while Nick Hahkala countered for the hosts with a nifty short-handed effort.
Busting into the Ice Dogs' zone, Hahkala stripped a defender of the puck behind the net before skating out front and fooling Dryden starter Dawson Rattai with a low shot to knot it at 1-1.
Despite getting a five-minute man advantage after a Dryden player was tossed for a hit to the head, the Lakers couldn't capitalize any further.
The Ice Dogs then broke it open in the middle frame by notching a trio of tallies to go up 4-1 after 40 minutes.
Picking up the markers for Dryden were Brady Lacharity, Gavyn Galloway, and Cameron Murray.
After Justin Pitari's tally made it 5-1 just 55 seconds into the third, the Lakers picked up goals from MacKenzie Flett and Michael Chapman to close the gap.
But Dryden secured the victory with a late empty-netter from Luke Golka to cap the scoring with 1:44 to go.
Shots on goal favoured Ice Dogs by a 39-33 margin, with Rattai picking up the win and Jared Cable suffering the loss.
On Saturday night, a stingy Ice Dogs's defence shut out the Lakers 3-0 to wrap up the home-and-home series in Dryden.
After a scoreless first period, Dryden opened the scoring midway through the second frame.
The Ice Dogs added some insurance midway through the third period as Dylan Winsor scored shorthanded.
Jaxon Krupa then rounded out the scoring with a late tally with help from Parker James and Gavyn Galloway.
Jacob Anthony handled all 34 shots he faced to nab the shutout while Fort Frances goaltender Alex Bugeja faced 39 attempts in taking the loss.
The Lakers will conclude the pre-season with another home-and-home series against the Red Lake Miners this week.
The two sides will square off at Cochenour Arena on Wednesday night before concluding the exhibition season on Friday (Sept. 13) here.
Both games will start at 7 p.m.
Fort Frances then will kick-off the SIJHL's 19th regular season at home when it hosts the Thief River Falls Norskies on Friday, Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.