Thunder extend first-place lead

Three days before the Superior International Junior Hockey League’s inaugural all-star game here, Kevin Webb put on an all-star worthy performance of his own.
The Borderland Thunder forward scored four goals to lead his team to a 9-3 dumping of the Thunder Bay Snowplowing Wolves here yesterday afternoon.
The Thunder had blanked the Wolves 7-0 on Saturday night to open the two-game series.
The wins helped the Thunder (22-8-8) extend their lead in the SIJHL standings to seven points over the Dryden Ice Dogs.
Webb’s goals were crucial in turning back potential Wolves’ rallies throughout yesterday’s game.
After Clayton Windego and Kyle Prystupa gave the Thunder a 2-1 lead, Webb zipped along the boards and slid his first goal past goalie Jesse Youman with just four seconds left in the first period.
Goals by Chad Baldwin, Matt Johnson, and Webb extended the Thunder’s lead to 6-1 in the second before Zac Donatis and Ryan Coceanic scored to spark another Wolves’ comeback.
But Webb struck again with 45 seconds to go in the period, then capped off his scoring three minutes into the third.
Dallas Mosbeck rounded out the scoring for the Thunder.
“I’ve had my chances but it just seemed to come together today,” said Webb, one of five Thunder players who will be in the SIJHL’s lineup tomorrow night against the OCN Blizzard.
Thunder head coach Wayne Strachan said Webb has improved his game on both sides of the ice.
“Kevin’s game has risen to another level. Right now, he’s just in a zone and he’s coming to every game focused,” he said. “You see him taking the body right now and playing good defence.”
Strachan added the team struggled at times to turn it up when the Wolves battled back.
“I think our focus was a little off but we got the two points and that’s what matters,” he said. “The Wolves came out and played well.”
On Saturday night, the Thunder got goals from seven different scorers (Mosbeck, Baldwin, Adam Sus, Ryan Hilfer, Jay Philips, Terry Parisien, and Justin Bodnarchuk) in their easy win.
Johnson also added four assists on the weekend. Backup goalie Tom Iwaniec (8-4-3) earned both wins.
Meanwhile, the last-place Wolves (2-33-2) continue to stick by their plan of building towards the future. The team traded or released many of their older players last month.
“We’re a young team and we’re trying to get better,” Wolves head coach Dave Simpson said.
The Wolves were coming off a 10-2 loss to the Ice Dogs on Friday night.
Elsewhere in the SIJHL over the weekend, the Thunder Bay KC Bulldogs beat the Northwest Wisconsin Knights twice—6-3 and 5-2—to clinch the fourth and final playoff spot.
The Knights went on to get thumped by the Feathermen Hawks 9-0 on Sunday.
In related news, Thunder goalie Rob Hrabec went 6-0-1 in January to win his second-straight SIJHL defensive player-of-the-month award to go along with four player-of-the-week honours.