The Borderland Thunder go into Dryden tomorrow night facing elimination, down 3-1 in their best-of-seven semi-final series after losing both games to the Ice Dogs here ice over the weekend.
The Thunder had split the first two games in Dryden earlier this month.
“It was a great game, best game of the series,” Thunder head coach Dave Allison said of the Saturday game. “Two teams battling hard, playing with passion.
“Unfortunately, one team had to lose.”
Kevin Webb scored a hat trick, which included a short-handed goal, in Friday night’s game but it was enough as Dryden won 6-3 (their last goal came with the Thunder net empty).
Ian Lockman and Brent Olson assisted on Webb’s first goal with Kurt Hogard and Ryan Kramer drawing assists on his second one. Clayton Windigo assisted on Webb’s short-handed tally.
Then on Saturday night, things were quiet until late in the first period when Dennis Morrison (Aaron Boyer/Drew Fisher) put the Thunder up 1-0.
But it was a short-lived lead as Dryden scored on the power play at 18:31, and then netted another goal at 19:02, to go to the dressing room leading 2-1.
Dryden went up 3-1 in the second before Morrison (Hogard/Kramer) scored his second of the game—on the power play—to narrow the gap.
The Ice Dogs added an insurance goal midway through the third to make the final 4-2.
Thunder goalie Dan Hoehne stopped 33 shots on Friday and then 26 on Saturday. Dryden’s Breton Lindoff stopped 36 on Friday and Liam Johnston stopped 33 on Saturday to earn wins between the pipes.
“We played hard,” said Allison. “There’s a lot of times you don’t judge your teams on wins and losses. Our guys are making them pay physically.”
Despite the disadvantage of facing elimination in Dryden’s home arena tomorrow night (game time is 7:30 p.m.), Allison is confident his team can get right back into the series.
“We win Tuesday, we’ve got a chance to come back here,” he noted. “We’ve got to keep pressing, plugging away.”
If a sixth game is necessary, it will be played here Thursday at 7:30 p.m., with Game 7, if needed, back in Dryden on Saturday at 8 p.m.
In related news, the Fort William First Nation North Stars swept the KC Bulldogs (Thunder Bay) in the other SIJHL semi-final series, winning by scores of 7-3, 10-0, 7-3, and 7-0.