It’s now a best-of-five series.
The Borderland Thunder split the first two games of their semi-final showdown in Dryden last weekend and now will be looking to gain a stranglehold over the Ice Dogs with a pair of wins here this Friday and Saturday night.
The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. at the Ice for Kids Arena.
The Thunder rebounded from a 2-0 loss Friday night with a convincing 7-3 victory in the second game Saturday.
“I think there was a lot of nervousness on both sides, but more towards our side because none of our guys have played in the playoffs before,” Thunder head coach Dave Allison noted.
The opener was scoreless until 13:35 of the third period when Jay Samsal (Jeff Sachowski) beat Thunder goalie Dan Hoehne.
Then Joel Poshtar, who finished the regular season fifth in SIJHL scoring behind Thunder forward Kevin Webb, scored unassisted at 17:26 to seal the win.
The Thunder fired 34 shots at Breton Lindoff while Hoehne stopped 28 between the pipes for Borderland.
“I didn’t think our forwards penetrated the way they should,” said Allison. “We were still in the game until the third period and then they scored. It was obvious we had to step up.”
And step up they did. Dave Gooch started things early for the Thunder when he scored unassisted less than a minute into Saturday night’s game.
After the Ice Dogs tied it shortly afterwards, Kevin Webb (Kurt Hogard/Brent Olson) and Ian Lockman (Webb/Olson) put Borderland back on top before the misconduct-filled period ended.
Lockman (Webb) scored his second of the game 44 seconds into the middle period, then completed his hat trick just 41 seconds into the final one. Webb also assisted on that goal.
Lockman took a big physical role in the game, as well, said Allison.
Hogard (McAndrew) netted a power-play goal later in the third before Webb (Olson) added an empty-netter with just under four minutes to go.
Hoehne stopping 20 of 23 to earn the win while Lindoff was tagged with the loss.
“We’ve got to stay focused,” Allison said of this weekend’s games here. “We can’t change the things that made us successful. There’s a bit of a price to pay and a lot of effort to put in.”
Dryden’s Tylor Desjarlais will miss at least Friday night’s game after being given a match penalty for spearing in the third period of Saturday’s game. That carries a minimum one-game suspension.