Thunder target back-to-back wins

They’ve had a week to savour the rediscovered taste of winning, and second helpings are on the menu plan.
The well-rested Borderland Thunder (7-9-1) see their first action in the past eight days tonight when they head up Highway 502 to play the second-place Dryden Ice Dogs at 7:30 p.m.
The game will be broadcast by CKWO 92.3 FM.
The fourth-place Thunder—four points behind the third-place Thunder Bay KC Bulldogs (8-9-1-2) with three games in hand and nine ahead of the last-place K&A Variety Golden Hawks (2-16-2)—will be searching for their first two-game winning streak since ending a five-game run of success Oct. 24.
A 5-1 setback that night against the Fort William First Nation North Stars was the prelude to an eight-game winless skid for the defending SIJHL champs, who finally righted their ship with a 6-5 overtime victory against the Ice Dogs here last Tuesday (Nov. 18).
Dryden (13-3-3-2), who are tied with the first-place Stars (15-4-1) but have played one extra game than Fort William, are coming off two-straight wins against the Bulldogs at home over the weekend.
The Ice Dogs hold a slight 2-1-1-1 advantage over the Thunder in their season series, with SIJHL goal-scoring leader Joel Poshtar (24 tallies) and Mike MacIntyre (35 points) the team’s most potent offensive weapons.
A surprising offensive contributor has been noted tough guy Tyler Desjarlais (fourth in the SIJHL with 104 penalty minutes), who has seven points in the five games against Borderland so far this season.
Goalie Liam Johnston, who gave up a season-high six goals in last week’s loss to the Thunder, is tied for first in the league in wins (nine) and is third in goals against average (2.94).
Borderland’s slumbering offence sprang to life last week, and they’ll need other players to bolster the presence of team scoring leader Kevin Webb (15 goals, 25 points).
But goaltending is still an issue with the team as they search for a masked man to get the job done efficiently in the absence of starter Dan Hoehne (concussion), who remains listed as week-to-week.
Another key injury is to captain Josh McAndrew, who has a broken scaphoid bone in his wrist that has taken longer to heal than first anticipated.
The second-year Borderland forward, named co-winner of the SIJHL’s rookie of the year award last year, still is at least three weeks away. In fact, Thunder GM Brent Tookenay said yesterday morning that it’s more likely McAndrew won’t see action until the new year.
Also on the shelf are forward Sean Councillor, who is out two weeks after hurting his ankle, and defenceman Kurt Hogard (knee), who should be back in time for the Thunder’s next action in nine days.
Meanwhile, forward Rob Scales still has two games left in his three-game suspension for taking part in a second simultaneous fight Nov. 15 against the North Stars.
Tookenay also said yesterday morning that a major signing and/or trade to strengthen the ranks of the team was in the offing, and possibly would be announced as early as tomorrow (Thursday).
The Thunder’s next home games are Dec. 5-6 against Fort William.