T’hawks split series with ’Jacks

Lucas Punkari

In what was their first competitive set of games in nearly a month, the Fort Frances Thunderhawks had differing results in a pair of games with the Dakota College at Bottineau Lumberjacks over the weekend in Bottineau, N.D.
The first game between the two sides on Saturday evening saw the Thunderhawks skate away with a 4-2 victory, while the second game on Sunday afternoon saw the Lumberjacks take a 7-5 decision.
“We played really well on Saturday night, and we were able to pepper their goalie throughout the game,” Thunderhawks manager Dean Bruyere said.
“We weren’t as good on Sunday overall, plus we had (Ian) Lockman out with a shoulder injury that he got on Saturday and (Tom) Biondich got booted during the game, so that didn’t help us out.”
Kevin Webb led the way for the Thunderhawks on Saturday, as he potted a pair of goals in the third period to help give his team the win. Biondich and Ross Johnson also scored in the victory, while netminder Chris Medicine made 20 saves between the pipes.
After allowing 48 shots on goal the night before, the Lumberjacks gave the Thunderhawks a taste of their own medicine on Sunday afternoon, as they fired 45 shots on goaltender Jay Flatt.
Offensively, the Thunderhawks were led by both Webb and Johnson in the loss, as each scored a pair of goals each. AJ Tucker had the other goal for the Thunderhawks and also added two assists to the cause.
With a scheduled set of games for this coming weekend between the Manitoba Lightning in Beausejour being postponed until next month, the Thunderhawks will now prepare for a series in Kenora against the Thistles on Saturday, March 5 and Sunday, March 6. However, those games could be pushed up a week to Saturday, Feb. 26 and Sunday, Feb. 27.
Those two games will also mark the start of a five games series between the two clubs for the Gary Cook Trophy, which is named after the longtime Thunder Bay hockey executive.
The Thunderhawks will host a pair of games on Saturday, March 12 and Saturday, March 26 at the Ice for Kids arena here while a fifth game, if necessary, would be held at whichever rink had the better crowds over the first four games, with both teams splitting the gate.