Thunder tame Ice Dogs to win fifth-straight

At this rate, people won’t have trouble saying or spelling Nate Weossner’s last name for much longer.
The Bemidji, Mn. native scored the game winner at 5:53 of the third, as the Borderland Thunder nipped the Dryden Ice Dogs 4-3 last night at the Ice for Kids Arena for their fifth-consecutive SIJHL win.
Weossner, whose seven goals ranks second on the team behind Kevin Webb (eight), converted Clayton Windigo’s pass to cap the Thunder’s comeback from a 2-0 first-period deficit.
Borderland (6-2-0-0) received second-period tallies from Webb and Ryan Kramer (his third of the year), as well as Mano Copenace, who notched his first for his new team since being acquired last Wednesday from the Southeast Blades of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League for forward Jordan Murray and defenceman Ryan Murray.
Dan Hoehne made 34 saves, including 16 in the third period to salvage the win. The reigning SIJHL goalie-of-the-year upped his record to 4-1 for the year, while Liam Johnston (4-3-2) was saddled with the loss in the Dryden net.
Konrad Breutsch had both first-period for goals for the Ice Dogs (6-3-2-1), while SIJHL goal and point-scoring leader Joel Poshtar had the other.
With the loss, Dryden saw their lead in the standing shrink to three points over the third-place Thunder, with Borderland holding four games in hand.
The current winning streak gained momentum this past weekend in Thunder Bay, as Borderland repeated their home ice achievement of Oct. 10-11 by sweeping a pair of games from the K&A Variety Golden Hawks.
The last-place Hawks (1-8-2-0) started strong Friday night by vaulting to a 4-0 lead by the 12:12 mark of the first period. But the Thunder would not falter, as they collected four goals in the second, and three more in the third to grab an 8-5 victory.
Trevor Zimak scored two goals in 35 seconds before the game was five minutes old, and Eric Robin (shorthanded) and Travis Grant (powerplay) helped put Borderland in a deeper hole.
Webb was not about to let the Hawks close the lid on the coffin, however, as he scored his first of three on the night at 16:52 of the opening period to revitalize the Thunder.
His teammates responded in the middle stanza, with Kurt Hogard tallying his third of the year (powerplay), before Webb (shorthanded) and Dave Gooch (second of the year) helped square the affair at 4-4 at the 10:28 mark.
Vince Kurzewski’s powerplay goal at 15:20 put the Hawks back in front temporarily, but Kramer beat ex-Thunder goalie Ryan Crane with four seconds left in the period to send Borderland to the dressing room on a high.
That good feeling extended into the third, with Webb scoring his hat trick goal at 12:20 for the eventual game winner, while Kramer added his second of the night and Eric Schulz (second of the year) closed out the scoring.
Saturday’s 4-2 win by the Thunder was a vision quest from the beginning, as starting goalie Jared Baldwin misplaced his contact lenses before the game, forcing him to be pulled after the first period due to his impaired sight.
Hoehne came out of the bullpen to make 21 saves, while Webb potted a pair of goals, with Hogard and Weossner adding singles. David Fleurent and Grant replied for the Hawks, who despite their record, have played much better hockey since new head coach Rick Baraniuk took over the helm six games into the season from Brian Vescio, who resigned as bench boss.
The Thunder head back to on the road this weekend for their first encounter this season with the second-place Fort William First Nation North Stars (6-3-1-0) Friday and Saturday night.
Borderland’s next home game is Nov. 4, when the Ice Dogs once again come to town for a 7:30 p.m. tilt at the Ice for Kids Arena.