Thunder close out regular-season tonight

The Borderland Thunder will close out their regular-season schedule here tonight against the Dryden Ice Dogs.
Game time is slated for 7:30 p.m. at the Ice for Kids Arena.
The game means nothing for the Thunder in terms of the standings, having already locked up second place. But it’s an important one for the Ice Dogs if they hope to nail down third-place.
Dryden (21-24-0) sits six points ahead of the resurgent K&A Variety Golden Hawks with three games left on in their schedule, including the one here tonight and then a weekend series with the Golden Hawks.
The Ice Dogs need either a win or tie over those three games to claim third place—and a date with the Thunder in the first-round of the playoffs.
Whoever finishes in fourth place would have to meet the first-place Fort William First Nation North Stars (39-2-4).
“I would think Dryden wants to play us instead of the North Stars, so the game is going to mean a lot more to them,” noted Thunder general manager Brent Tookenay, who has been the acting head coach while Dave Allison serves out his six-game suspension.
“But our guys have a lot of pride and with the things that have happened over the last couple of weeks with us and Dryden, our boys will be ready to play,” Tookenay vowed.
The last time these two teams played at the Ice for Kids Arena, a bench-clearing brawl erupted after the final whistle, which ultimately resulted in Allison and Ice Dogs head coach Larry Wintoneak being suspended for the rest of the regular season.
The Thunder, who sport a 30-14-3 mark, will be the first team to finish out its 48-regular season schedule. As such, the team will face a week break until their first playoff game, which will be played here.
Thunder defenceman David Gooch said due to that layoff, he believes it’s important to set the tone against the Ice Dogs, who likely will be their first-round opponent.
“We’re going to come out and take it to them,” he stressed. “We’re not going to sit back and let them gain energy heading into the playoffs, so we’re going to come out and play our game and play aggressive.”
“I think people will see a good game,” added Thunder forward Andrew Dault. “We’re going to be coming out flying, and we want to beat them just as bad as they want to beat us.
“It’s going to be a question of who wants it more?”

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