Lakers rally to defeat Miners 6-5



Release Date: Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017

Photo credit: Patrick Boucha

Lakers rally to defeat Miners 6-5

COCHENOUR, Ont. – The Fort Frances Lakers rallied from an early three-goal deficit to pull out a 6-5 come from behind decision over the English River Miners Saturday in a Superior International Junior Hockey League encounter at Cochenour Arena.

English River came out quickly in the contest, notching the night’s opening tally 57 seconds in on a Jared Janke effort.

Braeden Pearce then put the home side up by two eight and a half minutes into the first.

Matt Tustin’s 14th of the season got Fort Frances on the board midway through the session during a man advantage opportunity, but the Miners countered with a pair of markers from Pearce, 47 seconds apart, to give him a first period hat trick.

The high-scoring stanza continued with Jared Virtanen pulling the Lakers to within two before the frame was complete.

Action in the middle stanza saw Virtanen strike twice, including once while his team was up a man, to join Pearce with a trio of markers on the night.

Dawson Waddell gave the visitors their first lead in the game nearly five minutes into the third.

The back and forth affair saw English River tie it on the next shift as Dante Raposo collected his first SIJHL goal at 5:25.

Virtanen then helped set-up Connor Keith on the power play for the difference maker with 11:46 remaining in regulation as Fort Frances went back in front for good as the Lakers’ tightened up defensively from there to secure the victory.

Dylan Kooner dished out three assists for Fort Frances in the triumph.

Jessie Heisz stopped 32 of the 32 shots he faced in a lengthy relief stint to record the win for the Lakers.

Fort Frances starter Brandon Bodnar allowed four on eight attempts before giving way to Heisz.

Spencer Eschyschyn suffered the loss in goal for the Miners giving up the six while Michael Lenko saw nearly 12 minutes of work and made four saves.

League action resumes Tuesday in Thief River Falls, Minn., as Day 1 of the SIJHL Showcase gets underway featuring three games on the slate.

The Showcase begins with Fort Frances taking on the Minnesota Iron Rangers at 1 p.m. while the Dryden GM Ice Dogs meet the Thunder Bay North Stars at 4:15 p.m. before the day concludes with the Thief River Falls Norskies facing off with English River at 7:30 p.m.

All SIJHL Showcase games will be streamed live online at