Saturday, December 20, 2014

Lakers stay at No. 7

Two losses in three games last week didn’t affect the stature of the Fort Frances Lakers in the eyes of those analyzing the nation’s junior ‘A’ hockey teams.
The Lakers remained at No. 7 in the Canadian Junior ‘A’ Hockey League top 20 rankings—despite dropping a pair of games to the Thunder Bay North Stars in the past week.

Fort Frances (30-6-0-2) still holds a seven-point lead over the North Stars (25-6-1-4), who rose one spot in the rankings to No. 11.
The top three teams in the rankings remained the same, with the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League leading the pack at No. 1.
They are followed by the AJHL’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons at No. 2, then two teams on monstrous winning streaks.
The No. 3-ranked Soo Thunderbirds (Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League) have won 18 games in a row while the fourth-ranked Selkirk Steelers (Manitoba Junior Hockey League) have knocked off 16-straight opponents.
The Carleton Place Canadians (Central Canadian Hockey League) slipped one spot to No. 5 while the Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) sit just ahead of the Lakers at No. 6.
In other SIJHL news, Daniel Delpaggio of the North Stars was named the Pizza Hut player-of-the-week after burning the Lakers for the game-winning goal in both of Thunder Bay’s wins.
Delpaggio posted two goals and an assist in all three of his games to finish the week with nine points, giving him 68 for the season—second behind the Lakers’ Lucas DeBenedet (75).
He now has a 17-game point streak and has at least one point in 26 of his past 27 games.
Lyndon Lipinski was nominated as the Lakers’ choice for the weekly award.
On the ice, the Lakers head to Spooner, Wis. this week for the annual “SIJHL Showcase,” where they’ll play in front of a host of college, university, junior, and pro scouts.
The Lakers meet the English River Miners (16-17-3) tomorrow, followed by a date with the Dryden Ice Dogs (17-21-5) on Thursday.
Their next home game is Jan. 31 against Thunder Bay.

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