Saturday, September 20, 2014

Lakers finish ranked No. 5

Everybody wants to be No. 1.
But out of more than 100 possible landing spots, No. 5 isn’t too shabby.

That will be the fate of the Fort Frances Lakers in terms of the Canadian Junior ‘A’ Hockey League top 20 rankings, the final edition of which was released Tuesday.
The Lakers, with one regular-season game remaining, hold a record of 45-6-2-2 and already have clinched top spot in the SIJHL.
Fort Frances reached as high as No. 2 earlier in the season out of the 128 Junior ‘A’ teams in Canada.
Joining the Lakers in the final rankings are the second-place Thunder Bay North Stars (38-10-1-4), who came in at No. 15.
Fort Frances and Thunder Bay will tangle in a two-game, total-goal series to determine who gets to pick their eventual semi-final opponent once the quarter-finals are completed.
The best-of-seven first round of the SIJHL playoffs will see the third-place Minnesota Iron Rangers (33-14-1-5) face the last-place Wisconsin Wilderness (5-49).
Meanwhile, the English River Miners (20-29-4-1) and Dryden Ice Dogs (20-29-5) will square off in the other quarter-final.
Both of those teams sit with 45 points with two games remaining in the regular season as they try to claim fourth place and home-ice advantage for their series.
The Miners, who currently sit fourth due to having one less overtime loss than Dryden, plays Wisconsin tomorrow night and then a make-up game against Minnesota at a still undetermined date.
The Ice Dogs finish with two home games against the North Stars tonight and Sunday.
The Lakers will conclude their regular season against the Wilderness on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.
In related news, the Lakers will hold their annual awards banquet tomorrow at La Place Rendez-Vous.
Cocktails are at 5 p.m., with dinner at 6.

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