SPOONER, Wis. – Lucas Debenedet’s natural hat-trick in the second period and his fourth marker of the game in the third rallied the Fort Frances Lakers past the Dryden Ice Dogs 5-2 Thursday in day 2 action at the Superior International Junior Hockey League’s Showcase in Spooner, Wis.
The Ice Dogs were the beneficiaries of a fortuitous bounce to get the game’s opening tally early on as Joel Warkentin’s harmless looking dump-in from the neutral zone caught the stanchion changing the puck’s direction giving Lakers’ netminder Jordan Cartney no chance on the play as he went out to retrieve it only to see it slide into the wide-open net.
Dryden went up by a pair later in the session as Chris Varrin stuffed in his seventh of the season extending a point streak to five as a result.
The middle stanza was the Debenedet show as he scored three beauties to put Fort Frances in front after 40 minutes.
Six minutes into the period he neatly deflected Mason Meyer’s crisp cross-ice pass over the shoulder of Joakim Jutras in the Ice Dogs net at 5:54.
Four minutes later Debenedet levelled the proceedings going top shelf to tie it 2-2.
He then teamed up with Meyer once again to complete his period performance tucking a shot through the legs of the Dryden goalkeeper Joakim Jutras.
Not to be outdone the rookie forward tacked on his fourth of the contest as he struck shorthanded for his SIJHL-leading 36th goal and 80th point of the season five minutes into the final frame with Meyer picking up his third helper.
Ryan McQueen then tapped in his first SIJHL goal from in close to seal the come from behind triumph.
Shots on goal favoured Fort Frances 35-32 with Cartney earning the win and Jutras the loss.
The SIJHL Showcase concludes at 8 p.m. CT when the Thunder Bay North Stars take on the Wisconsin Wilderness back at the Ice House.
Wednesday, Jan. 22
Thunder Bay 3 Minnesota 2
Fort Frances 5 English River 2
Dryden 4 Wisconsin 2
Thursday, Jan. 23
Minnesota 3 English River 2
Fort Frances 5 Dryden 2
Wisconsin vs. Thunder Bay 8 p.m