COCHENOUR, Ont. – A Coltan Bodnar goal seven and a half minutes into the third period proved to be the game-winner as the Fort Frances Lakers upended the English River Miners 4-2 Wednesday evening in Game 1 of their Superior International Junior Hockey League quarter-final at Cochenour Arena.
Ethan Wong did give the Miners an early lead as he opened the scoring at 4:28.
However Fort Frances came back to level the proceedings five minutes later with Jaedin Ness supplying the equalizer.
Julian Uhryniuk then put the visitors on top late in the first as they took a 2-1 cushion into the intermission.
In the middle stanza, English River drew level on a Kyle Rosolowski power play blast.
The score stayed knotted at 2-2 into the final session where Bodnar buried the eventual difference maker.
Fort Frances then capped off the victory with 29 seconds remaining as Uhryniuk added his second of the night with an empty netter to secure the triumph.
Ismael Ralsten made 30 saves to record the win in his SIJHL playoff debut while Michael Lenko faced 36 attempts in defeat.
Game 2 goes Thursday back at Cochenour Arena at 7:30 p.m.
No. 4 English River Miners vs. No. 5 Fort Frances Lakers
Fort Frances leads best-of-five series 1-0
Game 1: Fort Frances 4 English River 2
Game 2: Thursday, March 22 @ English River 7:30 p.m. (Cochenour Arena)
Game 3: Saturday, March 24 @ Fort Frances 7:30 p.m. (Ice for Kids Arena)
Game 4*: Monday, March 26 @ Fort Frances 7:30 p.m. (Ice for Kids Arena)
Game 5*: Wednesday, March 28 @ English River 7:30 p.m. (Cochenour Arena)
*- if necessary
Photo credit: Patrick Boucha