There was no need to call the Psychic Friends Network. Dave Allison could handle the fortune telling duties all by himself.
“This one had been coming for a long time,” said the Borderland Thunder head coach after his troops absorbed their worst defeat of the year in a 6-1 loss on the road last night against the Dryden Ice Dogs.
“It’s probably the best thing that could have happened to us. Now, the challenge is to recognize the problem, and to want to get better.”
Dryden used three powerplay goals to pick up the win, which moved them one point back of the Fort William First Nation Wolves in the battle for third place in the SIJHL.
The Thunder still hold a four-point lead over the Thunder Bay Downtown Volkswagen Bulldogs and hold two games in hand over their second-place pursuers. They finished the season series against Dryden with a 7-2-0-1 mark, with the victory Oct. 30 having been forfeited due to the use of an ineligible player.
Kendal Enns and Tyler MacDonald scored 1:25 apart early in the first for the Ice Dogs (28-17-2-1), before Chad Baldwin finished off a three-way set-up involving Jay Phillips and Matt Johnson to cut the lead in half at 7:25.
That was the last blemish on goalie Ryan Comeau’s record for the rest of the game, though, as the Ice Dogs netminder stopped 33 of 34 shots to record the victory over the Thunder (29-10-5-2), who had won 8-5 and lost 4-3 in overtime the previous two Wednesdays in Dryden.
Enns and Steve Bunney scored second-period powerplay goals to make it 4-1. Tyler Desjarlais and Joel Poshtar (powerplay) capped the Ice Dogs’ offensive attack in the third, as Borderland goalie Dan Hoehne saw his record drop to 14-7-1 on the season.
The Thunder face a critical series against the Wolves (21-17-5-4) this Friday and Saturday in Thunder Bay. A Borderland sweep and a loss by the Bulldogs against the Feathermen Hawks would clinch first place for the Thunder and home ice advantage throughout the playoffs.
If there is a tie at the end of the regular season in the standings, the team with the most overall wins will hold the tiebreaker advantage, with the teams’ records in head-to-head competition serving as the second tiebreaker.
Borderland’s next home game is this Tuesday, when the Ice Dogs visit the Ice for Kids Arena for a 7:30 p.m. match-up.