FORT FRANCES, Ont. – The resurgent Fort Frances Lakers picked up the game-winning goal off the stick of Adam Withers eight minutes into overtime while netminder Ismael Ralsten stopped 42 of the 43 shots he faced in a narrow 2-1 triumph over the English River Miners Monday night in Game 4 of their Superior International Junior Hockey League quarter-final at Ice for Kids Arena.
With the victory, the Lakers win the best-of-five series 3-1 and will now advance to take on the No. 1 seed, the Dryden GM Ice Dogs, in a best-of-seven semifinal match-up.
Monday’s contest saw it go scoreless through one period of play before the Miners opened the scoring 3:22 into the second stanza on a Jacob Siebenga effort.
Fort Frances drew level 91 seconds into the third when defenceman Jack Dunnell notched the equalizer early in the session.
It remained tied from there throughout the rest of that period and into extra time where Withers won it to give the Lakers their second straight OT win over English River as well as claim the series.
Along with Ralsten’s efforts, Miners’ goaltender Michael Lenko made 45 saves in the season-ending defeat.
No. 4 English River Miners vs. No. 5 Fort Frances Lakers
Fort Frances wins best-of-five series 3-1
Game 1: Fort Frances 4 English River 2
Game 2: English River 4 Fort Frances 1
Game 3: Fort Frances 2 English River 1 (OT)
Game 4: Fort Frances 2 English River 1 (OT)
Photo credit: Clint Bruyere