A new face helped the Fort Frances Lakers secure four valuable points in the SIJHL standings as they won both of their games over the weekend.
After being acquired from the Red Lake Miners on Thursday for a player development fee, forward Owen Lee played a key role in the Lakers' 5-2 win over the host Minnesota Iron Rangers on Friday before downing the Thief River Falls Norskies 6-4 here the following night.
Lee's second goal of the game on a power play 15 minutes into the third period proved to be the game-winner as the Lakers won a wild decision over the Norskies.
Anthony Antonelli put the Lakers (9-8-0-0) on the board with his first marker of the season with a slapshot at 7:25 of the first before Alec Daman countered for the Norskies during a man-advantage before the period was over.
The Lakers then struck twice in the second on tallies by Brett Hahkala and MacKenzie Flett—only to see Thief River Falls answer late off the sticks of Bryce Johnson (even-strength) and Jake Eischen (power play) to knot it at 3-3 after 40 minutes.
Up a skater in the third, Lee notched his first goal as a Laker at 6:08 when his seeing-eye shot went off the crossbar and in over Norskies' goalie Fletcher Bolda.
Showing some resilience, the Norskies (6-7-2-1) answered once again at 11:04 when Daman tipped a shot past Lakers' goalie Jacob Gnidziejko.
Lee then put the Lakers ahead for good with 4:56 to go with another top-shelf goal while captain Nick Lucas added another on the next shift on a rebound to cap the scoring.
Thief River Falls outshot Fort Frances 42-37, with Gnidziejko picking up the win and Bolda suffering the loss.
On Friday night, Lucas had a pair of goals while Lee dished out a pair of helpers in his Lakers' debut to help earn the road victory.
Minnesota got off to a good start as Christian Ward collected his third goal of the season 12:29 into the first period.
Lucas scored later in the frame to knot it at 1-1 after 20 minutes.
The Lakers went in front for good 16:50 into the middle frame as Lucas notched his second of the night, and 11th overall, before teammate Cole Allan knocked in the eventual game-winner in the final moments.
Erik Engdahl brought the Iron Rangers to within a goal early in the third only to see Kirk Coppock put the visitors back up by two at 7:17.
Fort Frances then secured the win on an insurance goal from Isaac Baron to cap the scoring.
Brett Hahkala also had a two-point night for the Lakers with a pair of helpers.
Matt Booth made 19 saves to earn the win while Nick Corneliusen faced 43 shots in a losing cause.
In other recent Lakers' moves, the squad announced Friday it had traded defenceman Dustin Roitelman to the French River Rapids (NOJHL) for a player development fee.
The third-place Lakers next are in action this Friday (Nov. 16) when they host the second-place Miners (11-4-0-0) at 7:30 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.