Thunder return with tie and win

While it had been close to three weeks since the Borderland Thunder last stepped onto the ice for SIJHL action, they didn’t miss a step this past weekend, coming away with three points in their two games against the K&A Variety Golden Hawks.
Friday’s dramatic 3-3 tie was made possible by Andrew Dault, who had two goals (Jared Wood had the first), including a shorthanded one and the game-tying score with 1:23 left in the third.
“It would’ve lowered our self esteem quite a bit if we had lost,” said Dault. “That’s obviously a for-sure win. I don’t like to say it like that, but stats are stats, but you still got to come to the rink everyday and give your best effort forth and hope you win.”
The five-minute overtime frame didn’t resolve anything.
“We expected to win, but it just didn’t work out that way. We just had a couple of breaks and we finally got a few on them, but you’ve got to work the systems,” Dault added.
The Thunder had 36 shots to the Golden Hawks’ 26, as the draw brought Tyler Gordon’s record to 13-3-2 for the season.
“I put stock in that they battled hard for 60 minutes. They didn’t let things that they couldn’t control get to them. They’re a hard team to play against, because they hack and whack you, and they go after you’re head. You’ve got to get used to that,” said head coach Dave Allison.
“Gordon came up with some big saves, and it’s a tough game because he wasn’t facing a lot of shots, but he kept them at three goals, which is what we needed,” he added.
On Saturday, the Thunder were able to play like they had before the break against the Golden Hawks, who defeated the Thunder only once during the first half of the season, as they won handily 5-1 to boost their record to 22-4-2.
Dault (David Gooch, Riley Dudar) started things off three minutes into the first period, but the Golden Hawks tied things nine minutes later.
Dudar (Ian Lockman, Dault) responded shortly after to give the Thunder a 2-1 lead, which they wouldn’t relinquish.
Dennis Morrison (Morgan Cekalla), Tyler Barker (unassisted) and Barker again (Wood, Gooch) notched goals in the second period to close out the game. The Thunder outshot the Golden Hawks 48 to 29.
Gaining his first win for the Thunder was new-comer Kevin Kauk, who was signed from the Dryden Ice Dogs before the break replacing Tim Higbee, who went to the Southeast Blades in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
Thunder forward, Ian Lockman, had three game misconducts to go along with his 28 minutes worth of penalties in the game. The Thunder amassed 67 minutes worth of penalties altogether, while the Golden Hawks had 39.
The Thunder will face the 1-21-3 KC Bolldogs this weekend in Thunder Bay and will be hoping to improve on their play from this past weekend.
“It’s not bad for our first time back, but I think we expect a lot more from ourselves,” said Dault.