Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Lakers pocket pair of victories

Come together, right now.
The Fort Frances Lakers took the advice of The Beatles after losing a 2-1 decision in overtime on the road against the Minnesota Iron Rangers last Wednesday with an impromptu post-game discussion amongst themselves.

The group gabfest looks to have been a stroke of genius as the Lakers appear to be back on track with a pair of home wins over the weekend—4-1 over the Thunder Bay North Stars and 7-3 against the English River Miners.
“We had a meeting just to remind ourselves about teamwork and working hard every game,” noted Lakers’ captain Patrick Sofer, who provided the turning point on Saturday night against the Miners.
English River (16-22-3) had trimmed a 3-0 lead for the Lakers (35-6-1-2) to one goal in the second period when Sofer notched his 11th of the season to make it 4-2 and chase Miners’ starter P.D. Melgoza.
That triggered a flurry of Lakers’ offensive chances, which saw them light the lamp against back-up Greg Harney three more times before the end of the period.
Lucas DeBenedet reached the 40-goal mark with his second of the night, with Bryce Lipinski (power play) adding his 17th of the season and Miles Nolan chipping in with his ninth.
Lyndon Lipinski (27th) and Kevin Kurm (21st) also scored for the Lakers while Devin Tappenden made 29 saves to win on back-to-back nights and improve to 3-3 since joining the squad.
“It took Devin a little while to get his feet under him but he’s really finding his rhythm now,” said Lakers’ head coach and general manager Wayne Strachan.
John Morales scored twice for English River, including one on the power play, while Vincent Currao notched the only goal of the third.
Friday night’s game saw the Lakers score once each in the first two periods, then two more in the third, to build a 4-0 lead before the Stars notched their only marker at 11:53 of the final frame.
The Lipinski siblings were all over the scoresheet as Lyndon scored twice while twin brother Bryce had a single that was set up by younger brother, Kyle.
DeBenedet added a goal and two assists.
Daniel Del Paggio, named the Gongshow Gear Inc. player-of-the-month for January for the second-straight month, had the lone goal for Thunder Bay (28-8-1-4), who now sit 12 points behind the Lakers in the race for first place with three games in hand.
The Lakers return to action Wednesday night with another trip to Hoyt Lakes Arena to face Minnesota (25-10-2-4).
The squad is expected to have forward Donovan Cousineau back in the lineup after being out of action since Nov. 9 with a knee injury.
Defenceman John Dora, who took an accidental knee to the head from a teammate Saturday, is listed as day-to-day while forward Colton Spicer (shoulder) remains out indefinitely.
The Lakers’ next home game is this Saturday (Feb. 8) against the Iron Rangers.

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