It’s the closest thing resembling a slide that the Fort Frances Lakers have experienced so far this season.
But the cavalry is on the way—led by a pair of twin brothers who are coming home.
The Lakers lost back-to-games for the first time this season after falling 3-1 to the Thunder Bay North Stars here Friday night.
Thunder Bay also beat Fort Frances 4-2 two nights earlier on home ice.
The North Stars (16-16-0-2) now have topped the Lakers (25-5-0-1) in three-straight games and are responsible for all but one of their six defeats.
Because of their troubles, the Fort slipped from No. 5 to No. 7 in the latest CJHL Pointstreak top 20 weekly rankings.
Nicholas Nigro did all the damage for Thunder Bay—scoring a hat trick by netting one goal in each period.
Dylan Robertson replied via a penalty shot after North Stars’ defenceman Landon Letwin was whistled for covering the puck in the Thunder Bay crease during a scramble with 1:59 left in the second.
Pierce Dushenko had 21 stops in a losing cause.
In related news, the Lakers acquired forward Nolan Ross and defenceman Davis Ross ahead of the CJHL trade deadline last night.
The two 20-year-olds were picked up from the Virden Oil Capitals (MJHL) in exchange for forward Carter Chorney and future considerations.
Nolan Ross had a very successful run with the Lakers after being picked up midway through last season from the Portage Terriers (MJHL), notching five goals and four assists in 10 games before running into injury trouble.
He added six goals and an assist in 10 playoff games before notching a goal and two assists in five games during the Dudley Hewitt Cup.
The Lakers traded him back to the Terriers on June 1, where he and Davis immediately were shipped to Virden in another deal.
Davis Ross had 23 points in 23 games this season with Virden after helping the Terriers to the RBC Cup national championship last season.
Also signed to the Lakers’ fold before the trade deadline was forward Matt Tustin from the Lindsay Muskies (OJHL).
Tustin, a 19-year-old from Whitby, had five assists in 22 games this season.
The Lakers were on the hunt for help up front with word that veteran forward Dylan Kooner will be sidelined indefinitely.
Kooner, who was wearing a sling outside the Lakers’ dressing room Friday night, said he was diagnosed with a fractured scapula underneath his right shoulder blade.
He was second on the team in goals (16) and fourth in scoring with 30 points in 26 games.
Kooner joins defenceman Robbie Bonthron on the long-term injured list, with Bonthron out for several more weeks with a broken jaw.
The Lakers return to the ice this Wednesday when they visit the second-place Dryden GM Ice Dogs (21-7-2-2), who trail Fort Frances by five points.
Their next home game goes this Friday (Jan. 15) at 7:30 p.m. against the Minnesota Iron Rangers.