Thunder sign two forwards

The Borderland Thunder’s latest acquisitions will be moving from the outhouse to the penthouse.
Head coach Dave Allison announced yesterday the addition of forwards Ryan Sinclair and Christopher “Critter” Nagurski in two separate cash transactions as the Thunder head into this weekend’s two-game set here against the Thunder Bay KC Bulldogs.
Toiling on two different last-place teams, the newcomers will get a welcome taste of the high life with the SIJHL leaders.
Sinclair, 20 and weighing 225 pounds, was leading the Manitoba Junior Hockey League with 10 power-play goals as a member of the Waywayseecappo Wolverines, who sit in the basement of the MJHL’s Sherwood Division with a 3-29-1 record.
“It was just a case of the Wolverines being in last place wanting to give him a chance to be seen by more people, what with the Dudley Hewitt Cup being here this year,” said Allison.
Nagurski, whom Allison said possibly is related to former NFL Hall-of-Famer Bronco Nagurski of International Falls, had one goal and four assists in 19 games this season with the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League, who are mired in last place in the East Division with a 7-13-2 mark.
“Nagurski was with us in training camp,” Allison said of the 19-year-old, 200-pound power forward. “He’s going to help us in all facets of the game.
“Both players are going to help us round out our forward lines,” Allison added. “When [Kevin] Webb and [Aaron] Grynol return in January, I really believe we’re four [lines] deep.”
Allison said the Thunder didn’t go looking for bigger forwards purposely, but added they’ll always be glad to add some muscle to the roster.
“If you can get a good big guy rather than a good little guy, it’s a good pickup,” stressed Allison. “It gives us a different look as a hockey team, and will keep a competitive pace up in practice that will help the guys feed off of each other.”
The Thunder (15-4-3-1) and third-place Bulldogs (13-9-1-1), who trail by five points, will hook up tomorrow at 8 p.m. at the Ice for Kids Arena.
The teams will tangle there again Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
In related news, SIJHL president Jerry Blazino announced this morning that the Thunder’s penalty for using an ineligible player earlier this season has been cut from two points to one.
The decision was due to the lighter punishment handed to the Dryden Ice Dogs for their use of ineligible players so far this season, which saw a potential 19-point forfeiture reduced to nine by a league-wide agreement.
The Thunder originally had lost the two points it gained in a 3-0 victory over the Ice Dogs up there Oct. 30 after it was discovered goalie Dan Hoehne, who earned the shutout in his Thunder debut, had not yet received official authorization to play after transferring from Duluth.

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