It’s do-or-die for Thunder

Their backs are against the wall. There’s no tomorrow.
It’s do-or-die.
The clichés all apply as the Borderland Thunder host the Thunder Bay KC Bulldogs in Game 7 of their SIJHL semi-final series tonight at 7:30 at the Ice for Kids Arena.
The winner will advance to the league final against the Dryden Ice Dogs, who swept the Feathermen Hawks (Thunder Bay) in their semi-final series.
It’s golf season for the loser.
The Bulldogs extended the series to a seventh-and-deciding game with a 1-0 win last night at the Fort William Gardens. They had staved off elimination with a 5-4 win in double overtime in Game 5 here Saturday night.
“I didn’t think it was going to be easy but I didn’t think it would go to Game 7,” Thunder head coach Wayne Strachan admitted this morning. “If you look throughout the year, the Bulldogs gave us the best series.”
Now with elimination staring them in the face, Strachan said this is just another challenge his team—which he and his coaching staff built from scratch in August—will have to relish.
“We have a lot of great character kids,” he said. “I can’t say we’re not a little nervous but they know the task at hand and [the coaching staff] knows they’ll give it their all tonight.”
Bulldogs centre Tyler Bruno snapped a scoreless tie early in the third period in last night’s game while goalie Keith Anderson kept the Thunder at bay.
“We just weren’t moving our feet and creating anything. They kept the defensive pressure and kept chipping the puck out,” noted Strachan.
Each team fired 27 shots. The Thunder’s power play, which had delivered six times in the last two games, was held 0-for-3.
“We now know we could beat them in their rink,” Bulldogs head coach Brian Vescio said after Game 5, adding the Thunder no longer have the psychological edge at home since their 7-1 and 4-1 wins to open the series.
Advance tickets for tonight’s game cost $10, which are available at Skates and Blades and CC Complex, as well as at the door prior to game time.
Game 1 of the SIJHL best-of-seven final goes Friday, with either the Thunder hosting Dryden or the Bulldogs visiting the Ice Dogs.