Thunder open season with win, tie

Most teams are refined in the art of playing with the lead. It’s the better clubs that know how to come from behind.
The Borderland Thunder fought back from a 4-1 second-period deficit Saturday night to salvage a 5-5 tie with the Nipigon Feathermen Hawks at the Ice for Kids Arena.
Justin Bodnarchuk netted the equalizer on the power play with just 1:39 left in regulation time to give the Thunder three out of a possible four points to open regular-season play in the Superior International Junior Hockey League.
“They came out hungry tonight,” Thunder head coach Dave Allison said of the Hawks, who had fallen behind 5-0 on Friday night before eventually losing 8-5 to the host squad.
“When we started to work as a unit of five out there, we did a lot to generate chances,” Allison noted. “It was a hard-fought, well-deserved point.”
Kevin Webb notched a pair of goals for the Thunder on Saturday, with Kyle Prystupa and Clayton Windigo adding singles. Chris Schaen pitched in with three assists.
Ryan Ruth scored a power-play and short-handed goal for the Hawks, while Brent Assinawai, Dennis Morrison, and Randy Wright netted the other tallies.
Prystupa’s natural hat trick was the difference here Friday night as the Thunder blitzed the Hawks from the opening face-off.
Josh Baxter celebrated his 20th birthday in style by scoring just 38 seconds into the game, then Matt Johnson, Webb, and Schaen all hit the twine before the end of the period.
Webb added a third-period goal, while Johnson had four assists to go along with his goal.
Morrison had a pair for Nipigon in that one, with Wright, Vince Kruzenski, and Ruth also tallying.
In related news, Allison announced two player transactions this morning, with a third one likely in the near future.
Bodnarchuk and fellow forward Mike Fair, along with defenceman Terry Parisien, have been traded to the Hawks for forward Brent Green—an SIJHL all-star last season.
Fair was picked up only last week by the Thunder as the “future consideration” in the deal that sent Keith Lawrence to the Fort William Wolves.
Goalie A.J. Schneidmiller, who played in Saturday’s draw, was released by the team, while Allison said a trade is being worked on involving Thunder defenceman James Raymond.
The Thunder resume action this Friday and Saturday against the Wolves in Thunder Bay.