Thunder blanked twice by North Stars

Entering their series against the Fort William First Nation North Stars here over the weekend, the Borderland Thunder were looking to put some doubt in the minds of the SIJHL’s top team.
And after a 0-0 overtime tie on Friday night, the Thunder accomplished just that.
“If we get past whoever we will play in the first round, we’re almost guaranteed that we’ll face the North Stars, so we want to put doubt in their minds every time we play them,” noted Thunder defenceman David Gooch.
“They have the best offence in the league and to keep them to no goals, that’s something great,” he added. “It started with [Tyler] Gordon and just went up to the defence, and then the offence was backchecking.”
Gordon made 38 saves to give him his sixth shutout on the season, which leads all goalies in the Canadian Junior Hockey League, in a spirited affair that saw neither team gain a clear-cut advantage over the other.
The Thunder had 32 shots.
But the tie was nothing to cheer about for head coach Dave Allison, who saw untimely penalties, as well as his time giving up six breakaways, as why the Thunder didn’t win.
“We had some soft turnovers, some soft plays with the puck that led to a lot of chances for their offence,” said Allison.
“But again, I like how our defence battled down low, and some of our forwards really battled and I think more and more guys can get on board,” he added.
“Gordon gave us some confidence, but other guys have got to take what he’s doing and start to bail him out,” Allison stressed. “I didn’t think our forwards were particularly good tonight. I didn’t think they battled hard enough.”
The Thunder’s scoring drought continued Saturday night as the hosts came out on the short end of a 4-0 score, leaving them in second place at 24-6-3 while the first-place North Stars improved to 28-1-2.
The North Stars fired a staggering 45 shots on Kevin Kauk, who made his first appearance at home in goal, while the Thunder only managed 21.
“Today as a team, I thought we battled pretty hard, it’s just we couldn’t catch the breaks,” said Thunder captain Josh McAndrew.
“Yes, they outplayed us for two periods, but I thought we really came out strong in the third,” he added.
The squad next heads to Dryden on Wednesday (Jan. 26) to face the Ice Dogs, who sit in third place at 10-19-0. They have not beaten the Thunder so far this season.

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