HOYT LAKES, Minn. – A Jaedin Ness goal seven and a half minutes into the third period proved to be the game-winner as the Fort Frances Lakers held on to edge the Minnesota Iron Rangers 3-2 Saturday evening in the Superior International Junior Hockey League preseason opener at Hoyt Lakes Arena.
The contest was scoreless into the latter stages of the first period when Nick Lucas fed Brett Hahkala for the night’s opening tally at 18:20.
Fort Frances extended their lead with the lone marker of the middle stanza as Noah Loveday finished off the work of teammates Kirk Coppock and Anthony Antonelli.
An early third period power play helped Minnesota get on the board when Garrett Wojcicki put one past Lakers’ netminder Tyler Szturm.
However, Ness restored the visitors’ two-goal cushion after that as he provided the eventual difference maker.
Up a pair of skaters in the late going, the Iron Rangers rounded out the scoring in the final seconds with an Aaron Koivunen marker at 19:52 during the two-man advantage.
Fort Frances out shot Minnesota 37-13 on the night with Szturm picking up the win while Synjen Amende suffered the loss.
The same two teams will finish off a weekend home-and-home set Sunday evening at Ice for Kids Arena in Fort Frances. Game time is 7 p.m.