Some holidays seem to fly by, but others can drag on for what feels like eternity.
The Borderland Thunder’s 10-day break will be much more enjoyable after the team used a four-goal third period to clinch a 7-3 victory over the Nipigon Feathermen Hawks in SIJHL action Saturday night at the Ice for Kids Arena.
A.J. Tucker’s power-play goal at 6:30 of the final frame proved to be the winner as the Thunder (9-3-2) improved to 4-1-1 against the Hawks so far this season.
Rob Scales, Kirk Hogard, Josh McAndrew, Matt Johnson, Kevin Webb, and Kyle Prystupa also beat Nipigon goalie Chris Lauzon.
Mike Ray, Eric Robin, and Jeff Goodchild countered for the Hawks against Thunder goalie Jamie Munro, who made 17 saves to win his fourth start in five outings this season.
The win came on the heels of Friday night’s 4-2 loss to the Hawks as the Thunder coughed up a 2-0 lead to Nipigon (5-9-1-1), who scored three times in the third period to shock the home crowd.
Ryan Ruth had the tying and go-ahead goals in the third for the Hawks while Jarris Blacksmith and Ray added singles. Prystupa and Webb each scored and added an assist for the Thunder.
In other news, SIJHL president Jerry Blazino announced last night that the Thunder would have to forfeit the two points from their 3-0 victory over the Dryden Ice Dogs there last Wednesday night.
According to Blazino, Duluth, Mn. native Dan Hoehne, who earned the shutout in his Thunder debut, had not had his transfer officially authorized by the SIJHL before the game, thereby making his appearance against Dryden a violation of league regulations.
The transfer went through Thursday and Hoehne was cleared to play Friday night against the Hawks, where he stopped 23 of 27 shots in the Thunder loss.
Blazino said Monday it still was being decided whether the forfeit would count as a loss in the standings for the Thunder as well as if the Ice Dogs would receive credit for the victory.
But Thunder general manager Brent Tookenay said late Monday morning that the issue was far from settled.
“There’s some question marks,” said Tookenay, who pointed to a similar situation that occurred with the Thunder Bay KC Bulldogs last year, which saw that team also use an ineligible player in one game but still end up receiving credit for the win.
“It’s not like Dan is coming from another team. He’s a free agent,” Tookenay said. “Hockey Northwest usually contacts us ahead of time about players and they didn’t call to say he couldn’t play.”
Tookenay said he was assured by SIJHL commissioner Harvey Fedell last night that Dryden would not receive the two points, regardless on which way the ruling goes for the Thunder.
He hoped to talk with league officials later Monday, with a resolution possible today or Tuesday.