Lakers impress in season-opening victory over Norskies

FORT FRANCES, Ont. – Ethan Carlson-Jourdain tallied twice, including the game-winner, and added an assist to lead the Fort Frances Lakers to an impressive 8-2 victory over the Thief River Falls Norskies Friday in the Superior International Junior Hockey League season-opener at Ice for Kids Arena.

The first power play of the night helped the Lakers collect the lone marker of the first period as Ben Hoefler picked up his initial league marker 6:57 into the contest.

A three-goal outburst, just 42 seconds apart, early in the second stanza helped Fort Frances break it open as Nick Swain, followed quickly by a pair from Carlson-Jourdain put the home side up by four.

Thief River Falls starter Seth Purcilly gave way to back-up Caleb Sauer after the fourth Lakers goal, but he was greeted by a Noah Loveday effort at 11:01 to make it 5-0.

Battling back, the Norskies picked up goals from Mason McIntosh and Tyler Johnson in the latter stages of the session to pull the visitors to within three after two.

However, Fort Frances put the game away in the final frame as Stone Stelzl, Jack Lane and Kaleb Bruyere all collected markers to finish off the one-sided decision.

The Lakers held a 44-37 edge in shots with Alex Bugeja making 35 saves to register his first SIJHL victory.

Purcilly allowed the four against on 23 attempts in defeat while Sauer stopped 17 of 21 in nearly 35 minutes of relief.

The same two teams will cap off a home-and-home Saturday in Thief River Falls in a 7 p.m. start at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Photo credit: Clint Bruyere