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Lakers sweep Iron Rangers

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The Fort Frances Lakers took care of business over the weekend with a pair of 7-2 wins against the Minnesota Iron Rangers in Hoyt Lakes on Friday and Saturday.

The Lakers used a well-balanced attack—getting goals from seven different players Saturday night.

Last-place Minnesota (3-40-0-0) did start off strong by opening the scoring two minutes into the game on Matt Turnbull's fourth of the season.

But the Lakers got that back before the midway point on Noah Loveday's sixth.

Fort Frances then broke it open with five goals in the second period.

Nate Drobnick and Cole Allan started the outburst with markers just over a minute apart before Isaac Baron, Anthony Antonelli, and Chase Robideau tallied in rapid succession later in the period to put the visitors up 6-1 after 40 minutes.

Brett Hahkala added to the Lakers' cushion 9:08 into the third before Turnbull's second of the game capped the scoring.

Kaleb Bruyere and Ethan Knutsen each had two assists to help the Lakers' offence.

Matt Booth made 29 saves to earn the win while Nick Corneliusen turned aside 56 shots in taking the loss.

On Friday night, Dane Bateman scored once and added three assists to help the Lakers start the weekend on the right foot.

Fort Frances gained control early by taking a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes on goals by Baron, Jacob Ruck, and Knutsen.

The Lakers then tacked on two more in the second on Bateman's fourth of the season and Kirk Coppock's 12th (short-handed).

Minnesota got on the board at 16:28 of the frame thanks to Garrett Wojcicki's 10th, only to see MacKenzie Flett answer for the visitors just a couple of shifts later.

Knutsen then added another, assisted by Coppock and Bateman, to make it 7-1 in the third before Joshua Baker connected on the power play in the late going to cap the scoring.

Reece Hopfner chipped in with a pair of assists for the Lakers.

Jacob Gnidziejko made 21 saves to earn the win while Synjen Amende and Corneliusen both saw time between the pipes in defeat, facing a combined 46 shots.

The fifth-place Lakers (15-24-2-1) resume action this Friday (Feb. 15) when they host the top-ranked Thunder Bay North Stars (34-3-1-1) at 7:30 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.

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