Fort Frances Wins Hockey Day in Kenora

Fort Frances Wins in Kenora - Photo credit: Patrick Boucha
Fort Frances Wins in Kenora - Photo credit: Patrick Boucha

Fort Frances Wins in Kenora - Photo credit: Patrick Boucha
Fort Frances Wins in Kenora – Photo credit: Patrick Boucha
KENORA, Ont. – The Fort Frances Lakers struck for three unanswered third period goals to pull out a 5-3 come from behind victory over the English River Miners in Superior International Junior Hockey League action Saturday in front of a capacity crowd of 2,050 at the Kenora Recreation Centre as part of Hockey Day in Canada.

Kenora Hosts Don Cherry and Ron MacLean

The sell-out crowd that featured Hockey Night in Canada icons Don Cherry and Ron MacLean in attendance saw each side tally twice in the opening 20 minutes.

Fort Frances went in front 8:27 into the contest on a Brandon Zajicek effort only to see English River come right back with the equalizer 33 seconds later on a Kaden Hintz marker.

Brett Pickler put the Lakers back in front later in the session only to see the Miners’ Zac Schlitt tie it a couple minutes later.

English River then picked up the lone marker of the middle session when Jamie Driedger connected shorthanded in the final minute of the stanza.

Fort Frances drew level midway through the third on Jared Virtanen’s 22nd of the season.

Then heading into the late stages of the contest and with overtime looming, the Lakers got the game-winner with 1:43 remaining in regulation thanks to Pickler.

The Miners pulled starter Michael Lenko in favour of an extra attacker in the final minute, but Pickler iced it with an empty netter at 19:42 to finish off a hat trick and round out the night’s scoring.

Fort Frances captain Dylan Kooner had a big night for his club as he dished out three assists in the triumph while Ryan Gazich added a pair of helpers for the Lakers.

Brandon Bodnar made 25 saves to pick up the win for Fort Frances with Lenko stopping 37 of 41 in defeat for English River.

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