The SIJHL announced last Wednesday that Fort Frances will serve as the host community for the league's annual all-star game.
The game is slated for Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Lakers' head coach and general manager Wayne Strachan believes hosting the all-star festivities will bode well for the community and his players.
“It's great for our organization, and it's the first time it will be held in one of the franchise hometowns and we are hoping to have a 'border battle' type of feeling,” he remarked.
“It's something the community can be energized about and hopefully it has a Canada-U.S. rivalry effect, as well as bringing some business to the area.”
Strachan also believes it will give his players, especially the local contingent, more incentive to try to earn on a spot on the all-star rosters.
“It should, especially the local players,” he noted.
“What better scenario for all our guys to play in your home arena in front of your home fans with the best-of-the-best from the SIJHL?”
Strachan also noted how playing in the all-star game can have a positive impact on his players moving forward in their hockey careers.
“First and foremost, the pride in the selection,” he said about the advantages of being chosen.
“[Being] recognized as one of the top players in the league, and having that opportunity to showcase yourself against the best players, is a good tool to be seen, and have opportunity for scouts and schools to recognize them.”
The SIJHL also announced the Minnesota Iron Rangers were chosen to host this year's “Showcase” at the Hoyt Lakes Arena.
Slated for Tuesday, Jan. 29 and Wednesday, Jan. 30, it will see all six SIJHL teams play two games apiece over the two days that will count towards the league standings.
Both the all-star game and “Showcase” will be streamed online via HockeyTV.com
Further information on both events, including ticket information, rosters, etc., will be announced at a later date.
“The SIJHL would like to commend both the Fort Frances Lakers and Minnesota Iron Rangers on their successful bids and on being chosen to host these two signature league events,” SIJHL commissioner Bryan Graham said in a press release.
“There was multiple interest from league-member clubs and communities to stage both the all-star game and 'Showcase,'” he noted.
“We are extremely confident each organization will do a tremendous job in hosting.”
The SIJHL's 18th season is set to begin next Thursday (Sept. 20).