Friday, July 31, 2015

Lakers sweep Miners

Kevin Kurm’s eye won’t win him any beauty pageants.
Then again, the Fort Frances Lakers are more about fashioning win streaks than modelling this season.

The Lakers (28-3-0-2) ran their winning streak to six games with a home-and-home sweep of the English River Miners (14-616-3), winning 7-4 there Friday night before earning a 3-1 decision here Saturday in their first games after the 12-day holiday break.
Kurm, who was sporting a shiner on his left eye after getting cross-checked in the face Friday, put the Lakers on the board Saturday just 35 seconds into the game.
“As a team, we’re showing what it takes to win,” said the 19-year-old Thunder Bay native, who is fourth on the Lakers this season in goals (18) and points (35).
“We have to remember to keep working hard every game and every practice, and it will pay off,” he reasoned.
Kyle Lipinski netted the game-winner Saturday via a one-timer off a Cody Wickstrom pass along the blueline during a 5-on-3 power play at 5:02 of the second.
“There was no aiming . . . I just shot it at the net,” smiled Lipinski, who also registered the hit of the night when he flattened English River’s John Morales with a mid-ice check in the third period.
“I saw [Morales] cutting across the middle, and I just stepped up and let him know I was there,” he remarked.
Bryson Jasper sliced the lead in half when he muscled the puck past Lakers’ goalie Jordan Cartney at 7:19 of the third.
But Patrick Sofer, who took a big hit to set up Kurm’s goal, iced the win with an empty-netter with 15 seconds to go.
Cartney finished with 28 saves while Greg Harney made 38 stops to take the loss.
On Friday night, the Lakers used a three-goal third period to break open a 4-4 tie.
Kurm scored twice in that game, including the go-ahead marker at 4:09 of the third.
Mason Meyer also had a pair of goals and added an assist while Lipinski, Cam Gobeil, and Sofer notched singles.
Lucas DeBenedet chipped in with four assists.
Cartney turned aside 26 shots to earn the win while P.D. Melgoza made 36 saves in a losing effort.
The only bad news for the Lakers came in the first period Friday, when Colton Spicer’s return to the lineup after being out for 10 games with an upper-body injury was cut short on just his third shift.
Lakers’ general manager and head coach Wayne Strachan said Spicer suffered a shoulder injury after being checked hard into the boards from behind on a play where no penalty was called.
“We’ll have to wait until [today] to see the extent of the injury,” Strachan said about the Fort Frances native.
“We hope it’s not as serious as the last [injury].
“It’s a bad break for him,” Strachan added. “It should have been a major penalty.”
Forward Donovan Cousineau, who remains out with a knee injury, said Saturday that it still will be at least several weeks before he’s able to return to the lineup.
The Lakers next host the Minnesota Iron Rangers this Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.

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