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Dudley-Hewitt Cup team preview: Fort Frances Lakers (HOST-SIJHL)

DUDLEY-HEWITT CUP

DHC MEDIA UPDATE

Release Date: Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Dudley-Hewitt Cup team preview: Fort Frances Lakers (HOST-SIJHL)

FORT FRANCES, Ont. – The Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Jr. A Championship in Fort Frances begins today with the first two round robin contests.

The opener Tuesday afternoon at Ice for Kids Arena at 2 p.m. CT features the Dryden GM Ice Dogs of the Superior International Junior Hockey League take on the champions of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League, the Soo Thunderbirds.

Game 2 of the day features the two-time SIJHL Bill Salonen Cup title-winning Fort Frances Lakers meeting the defending Dudley-Hewitt Cup and back-to-back Ontario Junior Hockey League champion Toronto Patriots.

Th following is a preview on the event host Fort Frances Lakers.

TEAM: FORT FRANCES LAKERS
 
LEAGUE: SIJHL

HEAD COACH/GENERAL MANAGER: Wayne Strachan

THE LAKERS: Fort Frances is back in the Dudley-Hewitt Cup for a second straight year having won back-to-back Bill Salonen Cup SIJHL championships.

In their run to last season’s title the rallied from a three games to one deficit to take the final three contests to win it all vs. the Minnesota Iron Rangers. This year they trailed Dryden 2-1 and reeled off another three straight triumphs to claim the title.

The Lakers also finished first overall in the SIJHL standings in 2014-15 going 43-11-2 to take top spot going away.

Semifinal action saw Fort Frances dispose of the Thunder Bay North Stars in five games winning the best-of-seven 4-1 before defeating Dryden in six hard-fought games to capture the Bill Salonen Cup.

In last year’s Dudley-Hewitt Cup the Lakers finished third overall falling to the Toronto Patriots in the semifinal, with Toronto going on to defeat the host Wellington Dukes in the title game.

THE PLAYERS: The Lakers had three forwards finish in the top 10 in league scoring in regular season play.

Leading the way was Wyatt Cota, who was fifth overall picking up 68 points on 28 goals and 40 assists.

He was followed by Lucas DeBenedet and Mason Meyer, with the duo registering 58 and 57 points respectively.

Team captain Miles Nolan led the club in power play markers with 14, which was third best in the league. Cota chipped in with 10 man advantage efforts while Meyer had eight.

Colton Spicer shared the SIJHL lead in game-winning tallies with seven. Bowen Alcock was fourth in that department with five with Meyer and Cota fifth overall with four apiece.

A trio of defencemen shared the club lead in offensive production among blueliners with Sam Schultz, A.J. Kapcheck and Nick Minerva having 26 points each.

Goaltender Nathan Park led the SIJHL in goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts at 1.92, .931 and three respectively.

He was also named a CCM first team all-star in net and went on to be named the league’s top goaltender award recipient. Park also led the way in the playoffs winning eight times and was chosen postseason MVP.

In postseason play, Cota paced the Lakers with 14 points, which was also the second best total among all players.

Meyer finished tied for third overall in SIJHL playoff scoring with 14 points, with his nine goals topping all players.

Cota was right behind him with eight, which included a hat trick and the championship winning tally in the final contest.

Minerva led all SIJHL defencemen in scoring with 10 points on five goals and as many assists.

The Fort Frances power play went at a 23.1% success in the playoffs while their penalty kill rate was 83.3%. In the regular season they were even better at 26.2%, but slipped on the P.K. at 79.1%.

FASTHOCKEY: Each Dudley-Hewitt Cup contest will be available online via pay-per-view at fasthockey.com.

DUDLEY-HEWITT CUP WEBSITE: More information on the 2015 Dudley-Hewitt Cup, including ticket packages, can be found on the official event website at www.centralcanadianchampionship.com.

Additional news, statistics, schedules and other relevant material is also posted on the website with other relevant information being added leading up to the event.

RBC CUP: The Dudley-Hewitt Cup winner will advance to represent the central region at the 2015 RBC Cup Canadian Jr. A Championship, May 9-17, in Portage la Prairie, Man.

Serving as host will be the Portage Terriers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.

Joining the Terriers and Dudley-Hewitt title holders will be the champion and finalist of Crescent Energy Western Canadian Championship as well as the winner of the Fred Page Cup Eastern Canadian Championship.

More information on the RBC Cup can be found at www.hockeycanada.ca/rbccup.

Dudley-Hewitt Cup
April 28 – May 2
Ice for Kids Arena
Fort Frances, Ont.

Competing teams
HOST: Fort Frances Lakers (Bill Salonen Cup champion)
SIJHL: Dryden GM Ice Dogs (Bill Salonen Cup finalist)
NOJHL: Soo Thunderbirds (Copeland Cup – McNamara Trophy champion)
OJHL: Toronto Patriots (Buckland Cup champion)

Schedule (All start times Central Standard Time)
Tuesday, April 28
Soo vs. Dryden 2 p.m.  
Toronto vs. Fort Frances 7:30 p.m.  
Wednesday, April 29
Toronto vs. Dryden 2 p.m.
Fort Frances vs. Soo 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 30
Soo vs. Toronto 2 p.m.
Dryden vs. Fort Frances 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 1
Semifinal: 2nd Round Robin vs. 3rd Round Robin 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 2
Final: 1st Round Robin vs. Semifinal Winner 7:30 p.m.

DHC champion advances to RBC Cup May 9-17 in Portage la Prairie, Man.

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