Lakers hold off North Stars in OT

FORT FRANCES, Ont. – Flynn Perry’s second goal of the game, coming 65 seconds into overtime, was the difference as the Fort Frances Lakers withstood a late comeback bid by the Thunder Bay North Stars before prevailing 6-5 in Superior International Junior Hockey League action Tuesday evening at Ice for Kids Arena.

It was the visiting North Stars who opened the scoring just past the 16-minute mark of the first period on a Jacob Brown effort.

Fort Frances countered quickly in the second stanza with Stone Stelzl connecting from the left wing.

It was more Lakers midway through the frame as Ben Hoefler picked up his 12th to make it 2-1 before Perry collected his initial marker of the night a couple of shifts later to put the hosts up by a pair during a man advantage opportunity.

On the power play themselves late in the session, Thunder Bay got one of those back with Hunter Foreshew putting one into the top corner with a wrist shot from left faceoff circle.

Stelzl then got another four and a half minutes into the third as he picked off a clearing attempt and darted in to score to make it 4-2.

After Brown bagged another at 12:11, Kyle Uzelman found the mark for Fort Frances at 15:37 as the Lakers went up by two late.

Battling back, Brown hit a hat trick off with his 35th of the season of a nice deflection from a Logan Mihalcin attempt to bring the guests back to within one.

Then with time running down and their goaltender on the bench for an extra attacker, Thunder Bay tied it with 20 seconds left in regulation as Foreshew lifted a backhand high to knot the affair and force OT.

However, Perry persevered for Fort Frances as he buried a rebound into the open side off a Noah Loveday shot to pull out the home ice victory.

Jett Leishman and Mihalcin had three assists apiece for the North Stars in defeat while Colton Bodnar and MacKenzie Flett had two helpers each for the Lakers in their triumph.

Shots on goal finished 47-34 in favour of the Fort with Alex Bugeja getting the win while Dylan Kosik suffered the setback.

Photo credit: Clint Bruyere