Thunder take 2-0 lead on Bulldogs

It may have been a little closer but the Borderland Thunder still held serve on home ice.
The Thunder beat the Thunder Bay KC Bulldogs 4-1 here Friday night to grab a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven semi-final series. They had dumped Thunder Bay 7-1 in the opener Thursday night.
The series now will shift to the Fort William Gardens for Games 3 and 4 on Wednesday and Thursday.
Despite outshooting the Bulldogs 15-6 after the first period, the Thunder didn’t strike until a Kevin Webb goal with 7:28 left in the second.
Matt Johnson made it 2-0, then Kyle Prystupa netted a key goal just five seconds before the buzzer after collecting a rebound alone in front of Thunder Bay goalie Keith Anderson.
“[The Prystupa goal] was a real big because we were still in the game and pressing,” said Bulldogs head coach Brian Vescio “That one with five seconds to go turned things.”
The Bulldogs tried to rally early in the third when Derek Hosanna cashed in after Thunder goalie Rob Hrabec was caught out of his net.
But Hrabec slammed the door the rest of the way as three breakaways were turned aside.
Johnson scored his second of the game—and third of the playoffs—with an empty net marker with 42 seconds to go. He racked up a team high six points (three goals/three assists) in the two games.
Thunder head coach Wayne Strachan said it took a while for his team to get into their groove.
“We started to come on in the second period. We got our feet moving. Our defence came through us again,” said Strachan, whose team only outshot the Bulldogs 35-30 as opposed to 61-34 in Thursday’s win.
Vescio was more pleased with this contest, which he said was winnable. “Considering everything, we had a few breakaways late and couldn’t put them in,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the Dryden Ice Dogs won two on the road to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven semi-final series against the Feathermen Hawks, nipping the Hawks 3-2 on Friday before winning 7-3 on Saturday.
That series now shifts to Dryden for Games 3 and 4 this Friday and Saturday.