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Lakers split pair of weekend games

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The Fort Frances Lakers were able to earn a split in their home games over the weekend.

The undermanned Lakers weren't able to keep up with the league-leading Thunder Bay North Stars in a 5-0 loss Friday night but then rebounded with a big 6-2 win over the visiting Minnesota Iron Rangers yesterday afternoon in a Family Day matinee.

MacKenzie Flett scored twice to pace the Lakers to victory yesterday.

Kaleb Bruyere opened the scoring for Fort Frances 12:30 into the first period when he buried the rebound of Chase Robideau's shot past Iron Rangers' goalie Synjen Amende at the right side of the net.

Brett Hahkala doubled the lead 6:36 into the second when he took a pass from Isaac Baron at the point and snapped a shot that fooled Amende.

After Erik Engdahl (unsportsmanlike conduct) and Matt Turnbull (hooking) were whistled, Anthony Antonelli made the Iron Rangers pay when he fired home a shot from the point on the ensuing two-man advantage at 13:29 to put the hosts up by three.

Flett then buried a feed from Ethan Knutsen just over a minute later to make it 4-0.

Elias Thompson put the last-place Minnesota (3-44-0-0) on the board in the final minute of the second when he shook off the backcheck of Cole Allan before getting free to the right side of Matt Booth and beating him with a low shot.

Brendan Burns then halved the deficit 3:19 into the third when his shot eluded Booth on a man advantage.

But Allan then pulled off a highlight-reel goal when he went end-to-end—deking through the Iron Rangers' defence before lifting a backhander over Amende to restore the Lakers' three-goal cushion just past the 10-minute mark.

Booth drew the lone assist on the play.

Flett capped the scoring when he skated the puck out from the sideboards before unleashing a cannon of a shot past Amende for his second of the afternoon at 18:50.

Booth made 20 saves to earn the win while Amende stopped 42 shots in taking the loss.

It was a much different story Friday night for the short-handed Lakers as Jacob Brown tallied twice and added an assist to lead the North Stars to victory.

Icing a lineup of just 14 skaters, the Lakers couldn't muster up enough to avoid their 25th regulation loss of the season.

Alex Erwin picked up the eventual game-winner for Thunder Bay (37-3-1-1) 6:44 into the game when he fired home his 18th goal of the season.

Brown then added his first of the night later in the frame as the visitors carried a 2-0 cushion into the first intermission.

It was more from the North Stars in the second as Keighan Gerrie circled around in the high slot before corralling the puck and snapping his 32nd past Gnidziejko at 2:23.

Jonathan Kilby swiped the puck off a Laker in the third before skating down the right wing and wiring a shot high past Gnidziejko at 4:10.

Brown then finished off a Gerrie feed at 15:09 to close out the scoring.

Brock Aiken made 22 saves to earn his league-leading fifth shutout while Gnidziejko faced 48 shots in defeat.

The fifth-place Lakers (16-25-2-1) resume action tonight when they head to Thunder Bay to battle the North Stars once again.

Fort Frances then will welcome the Iron Rangers on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena before capping the week against the fourth-place Dryden GM Ice Dogs (22-17-3-2) there the following night.

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