Fort Frances Lakers

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Fort Frances Lakers
Fort Frances Jr Sabres.png
City Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada
League Superior International Junior Hockey League
Founded 2007
Home arena Fort Frances Memorial Sports Center
Colours Black, Red, and White
              
General manager Wayne Strachan
Head coach Wayne Strachan
Franchise history
2007-2009 Fort Frances Jr. Sabres
2009-Present Fort Frances Lakers

The Fort Frances Lakers are a Canadian Junior ice hockey team based in Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada. They play in the Superior International Junior Hockey League.

History[edit]

Jr. Sabres[edit]

The Fort Frances Jr. Sabres are the first Junior "A" team to play in Fort Frances since the Fort Frances Borderland Thunder left the league in 2005. The Borderland Thunder wanted to play in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, but chose to go into hiatus when they did not receive clearance for the transfer. The Sabres have a new ownership group and are the seventh member of the Superior International Junior Hockey League.

Sabres celebrate an overtime victory (2007)

On September 14, 2007, the Fort Frances Jr. Sabres played their first ever game at home in Fort Frances. Playing the Thunder Bay Bulldogs, the Sabres played the shocker and defeated the Bulldogs solidly, 5-1, to receive their first ever team win. The Sabres first ever goal came 3:14 into the first period by Alessio Tomassetti. Goaltender Ryan Faragher (himself a Fort Frances native) picked up the win with 29 saves.

In the summer of 2009, the Fort Frances team went through a crisis of sorts. With the Thunder Bay Bearcats and Schreiber Diesels leaving the SIJHL, the ownership of the Sabres decided to pull their team out of the 2009-10 season despite initially telling the press and the league that the team was operating with a "business as usual" attitude and would not be sitting out during the coming season.[1][2] It soon came out that the team would play in 2009-10, but under new ownership. Yet again, as the season drew nearer, it became apparent that the franchise was in distress. The team could not find a buyer, so in an effort to keep the team alive, the community came together to take over the franchise and turn it into a non-for-profit organization. On September 10, 2009, the team decided to change their name to the Lakers.

Lakers[edit]

Lakers action in 2011

The reborn community-owned Lakers played their first game as a non-for-profit organization on September 17, 2009 in Fort Frances. Although the team's third season almost did not happen, the Lakers brought hockey in Fort Frances back with style by playing the defending league champion Fort William North Stars in their home opener. The Lakers lost 5-2 with an empty net goal, but were in it the entire game.[3] A night later, the Lakers won their first game of their new era by defeating the expansion Thunder Bay Wolverines in Thunder Bay 3-2.

Season-by-season standings[edit]

Season GP W L T OTL GF GA P Results Playoffs
2007-08 50 22 21 4 3 173 183 51 5th SIJHL Lost Quarter-final, 0-3 (Diesels)
2008-09 50 30 17 - 3 199 139 63 3rd SIJHL Won Quarter-final,3-0 (Flyers)
Lost Semi-final, 1-4 (Bearcats)
2009-10 52 14 33 - 5 153 251 33 5th SIJHL Won Quarter-final,4-3 (Wolverines)
Lost Semi-final, 2-4 (Ice Dogs)
2010-11 56 34 19 - 3 208 174 71 2nd SIJHL Lost Playoff Seeding 1-2* (Wilderness)
Lost Semi-final, 2-4 (Ice Dogs)
2011-12 56 37 12 - 7 255 166 81 2nd SIJHL Won Playoff Seeding 2-1* (Wilderness)
Won Semi-final, 4-0 (Ice Dogs)
Lost League Finals, 3-4 (Wilderness)
2012-13 56 35 18 - 3 208 165 73 2nd SIJHL Won Semi-final, 4-3 (Ice Dogs)
Lost League Finals, 3-4 (Wilderness)
2013-14 56 46 6 - 4 295 150 96 1st SIJHL Won Playoff Seeding 6-4* (North Stars)
Won Semi-final, 4-0 (Miners)
Won League Finals, 4-3 (Iron Rangers)
SIJHL Champions
See Dudley Hewitt Cup below
2014-15 56 43 11 - 2 254 197 88 1st SIJHL Won Semi-final, 4-1 (North Stars)
Won League Finals, 4-2 (Iron Rangers)
SIJHL Champions
See Dudley Hewitt Cup below
2015-16 56 46 8 - 4 249 140 96 1st SIJHL Won Semifinals, 4-0 (Miners)
Won League Finals, 4-2 (Ice Dogs)
SIJHL Champions
See Dudley Hewitt Cup below
2016-17 56 24 25 3 4 188 201 55 5th of 6 SIJHL Won Play-in Series 3-1 (Norskies)
Lost Semifinals 0-4 (Ice Dogs)

Dudley Hewitt Cup[edit]

Central Canada Championships
NOJHL - OJHL - SIJHL - Host
Round robin play with 2nd vs 3rd in semi-final to advance against 1st in the finals.

Year Round Robin Record Standing SemiFinal Gold Medal Game
2014 L, Toronto Lakeshore Patriots1-4
L, Wellington Dukes 0-3
W, Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 6-3
1-2-0 3rd of 4 L, Toronto Lakeshore Patriots 0-6 n/a
2015
HOST
W, Toronto Lakeshore Patriots 2-1 OT
L, Soo Thunderbirds 3-6
W, Dryden Ice Dogs 5-3
2-1-0 3rd of 4 W, Toronto Lakeshore Patriots 6-4 L, Soo Thunderbirds 2-3
2016 L, Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 5-8
L, Soo Thunderbirds 5-6
L, Trenton Golden Hawks 0-3
0-3-0 4th of 4 Did not qualify

Notable alumni[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]