Thunder drop two against Hawks

The Borderland Thunder hit two road bumps this weekend—losing 5-2 on Saturday and then 4-3 yesterday to the Feathermen Hawks.
The Hawks (9-3-2), who are unbeaten in their last nine games, leaped over the Thunder and Dryden Ice Dogs for first place atop the Superior International Junior Hockey League.
The Thunder (7-4-3) are now tied for second with Dryden, and will face the Ice Dogs here tomorrow night at 7:30.
“The guys will learn from it and get ready for tomorrow’s game,” Thunder head coach Wayne Strachan said today.
Justin Bodnarchuk put the Thunder on the board first in yesterday’s game with an unassisted goal. Steven Atkins tied it before the Hawk’s netted a pair of power-play goals for a 3-1 lead at the Nor’West Recreation Centre near Kakabeka Falls.
But the Thunder did not roll over. Josh Baxter scored off a scramble in the final minute of the second period, then Ryan Hilfer dribbled a centre ice shot off Hawk’s defenceman Jeff Goodchild 26 seconds into the third to tie the game 3-3.
But Atkins struck again at the 14-minute mark of the third with goal off his own rebound past Jason Flatt (2-2) to ice the victory.
Thunder leading scorer Kevin Webb was taken out in the second period by Hawks’ forward Randy Wright. Webb’s removal after a minor injury ended his league-high 13-game points scoring streak.
Strachan said Webb will play tomorrow against Dryden.
In Saturday’s game, played in Nipigon, the Hawks snapped a 2-2 tie in the second period after tallies from Ryan Ruth and Jarris Blacksmith.
SIJHL leading scorer Brent Greene added an insurance marker late in the game.
Greene had spent a short stint with the Ontario Hockey League’s Sudbury Wolves before returning to the team early last week.
Webb and Dallas Mosbeck scored for the Thunder in that one, while Tom Iwaniec suffered his first loss of the season in goal.
Strachan said his team seemed to be a little off the entire weekend, allowing the Feathermen to make the big plays.
“I think the Hawks played one step ahead of us,” he said. “They were a lot hungrier in both games. They were beating us to the puck. They outworked us.
“The guys just didn’t have our best two games of the season. We have to learn from that,” he added.
Meanwhile, Iwaniec was named the SIJHL’s first-ever defensive player-of-the-month. The Nestor Falls native was undefeated for the month, posting a 3-0-2 record in eight games.
He also led all SIJHL goalies with a 2.12 goals against average, and was third in save percentage at .908. The 17-year old also posted the first shutout in league history—a 3-0 blanking of the Thunder Bay KC Wolves on Sept. 30
Webb was in the running for the first offensive player-of-the-month award, losing out to Greene. He had won the first offensive player-of-the-week nod to kick off the season.