Thunder widen lead over Bulldogs

What a difference a night makes.
After managing just one goal on 43 shots in a 1-1 tie Friday night against the visiting Thunder Bay KC Bulldogs, the Borderland Thunder readjusted their rifle scopes and were deadly accurate in a 7-3 defeat of the Bulldogs on Saturday night at the Ice for Kids Arena.
The SIJHL-leading Thunder’s domination of the shot clock (42-14) for a second-consecutive game finally paid off as they scored early in each period to put away the third-place Bulldogs.
“I think our communication was a lot better tonight,” Thunder head coach Dave Allison said about his squad, who are 5-1-1 in their last seven outings.
“There was a lot of synergy in terms of guys helping each other out,” he added.
Matt Alexander had the Thunder’s lone goal Friday night, with Trevor Karasiewicz connecting for the Bulldogs (13-10-2-1), who trail Borderland (16-4-4-1) by seven points in the SIJHL standings.
Karasiewicz scored twice more Saturday, both on breakaways, with Rylan Vesa adding Thunder Bay’s other tally. But it wasn’t nearly enough against the offensive firepower of the Thunder, who got a two-goal performance by A.J. Tucker.
Critter Nagurski, Ian Lockman, Josh Baxter, Kyle Prystupa, and Josh McAndrew added singles to help goalie Jamie Munro, who played both nights in place of No. 1 starter Dan Hoehne, who filled the backup role while battling nagging headaches.
Nagurski and Ryan Sinclair, who had two assists Saturday, both played their first games after joining the Thunder this past week.
Defenceman John Kocis also made his Thunder debut over the weekend after being picked up from the Yorkton Terriers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, where he had not seen any action this season.
The Thunder now head to Dryden to battle the defending SIJHL champion Ice Dogs on Wednesday night. Their next home games will be Jan. 3-4 at 7:30 p.m. against the Bulldogs in the Ice for Kids Arena.