Saturday, April 19, 2014

Lakers start regular season tonight

This one counts.
With the pre-season in the rearview mirror, the Fort Frances Lakers get down to business for real tonight when they host the Thunder Bay North Stars to kick off the SIJHL regular season.

Game time is 7:30 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.
The Lakers will be led into action by their newly-selected captain and alternates, who were unveiled this morning.
Patrick Sofer will wear the ‘C’ on his jersey for the 2013-14 season.
The 20-year-old forward, who hails from Chicago, is in his second season with the Lakers, notching 30 points in 48 games last year.
Lakers’ veteran John Dora and incoming twin brothers, Bryce and Lyndon Lipinski, will serve as alternates.
Dora, a 19-year-old defenceman from Bismarck, N.D., is another second-year Laker who had seven points in 21 games with the squad last season.
The Lipinskis, 20, joined the Lakers in a July 4 trade with the Portage Terriers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, which saw forward Colton Spicer, defenceman Jon Carlson, and goalie Talor Joseph go the other way.
Bryce had 41 points in 59 games with the Terriers last year while Lyndon had 29 points in 53 games.
The Lakers also will have all hands on deck to open the season after centre Lucas DeBenedet (upper-body injury) was cleared to play after an evaluation yesterday.
Animosity might be the catchword of the night tonight following the bitter ending to the Lakers’ 3-2 win over the Stars in their exhibition tilt in Marathon last Thursday in memory of former Laker Jaret LeClair and three other members of the Ojibways of the Pic River First Nation who died in a multi-vehicle accident there last October.
Heated words were exchanged after the final horn in Marathon on the heels of an uncalled slash against Bryce Lipinski and a spearing double minor taken by Thunder Bay’s Kris Kellaway.
The Stars, led by new head coach Jeremy Adduono, begins a season-opening six-game road trip tonight.
Thunder Bay is the only SIJHL team listed in the top 20 pre-season rankings released by the Canadian Junior Hockey League, coming in at No. 13.
Forward Trevor Hynnes and Cary Brown are expected to be the team’s offensive leaders while either Eric Mann or Nathaniel Dupuis will get the call in goal tonight.
The Lakers, meanwhile, will get their first look at the expansion English River Miners from Ear Falls tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. here.
The Miners will play their first SIJHL contest in Dryden tonight against the Ice Dogs before travelling to Fort Frances for the second of five-straight road games to start their season.
The Miners will look to forwards Royce King, Vincent Currao, and California product John Morales to pace the offence.
Eric Ouellet, who played 12 games with the North Stars last season, likely will be between the pipes.

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