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Thunder tame Ice Dogs in final

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It’s not full payback, but it’s a start.

The Borderland Thunder earned some redemption against its conqueror from last season by doubling the Dryden Ice Dogs 4-2 in yesterday’s final of the SIJHL’s annual pre-season “Showcase” tournament here.

A noisy home crowd at the Memorial Sports Centre energized the Thunder, who were swept by the Ice Dogs in the SIJHL’s inaugural championship series last year.

Chad Baldwin scored the game-winner on the power play at 15:49 of the third period, snapping a bullet past Dryden goalie Ryan McGillis after linemate Kevin Webb made a great move at the blueline before threading a pass onto Baldwin’s stick.

“[Webb] made a nice pass across and I was just trying to get the shot quick as I could,” said Baldwin.

“It’s always nice to get a win on [Dryden] but it’s just the beginning of the year. We have to look forward to the rest of the year when it counts,” he added.

A.J. Tucker and Justin Bodnarchuk (empty net) also had power-play tallies for the Thunder while Josh Tucker scored at even strength.

Dryden, who had lost 6-3 in Saturday night’s round-robin match-up with the Thunder, had power-play goals from Steve Bunney and Mike Thach in yesterday’s final.

The Thunder went undefeated in the tournament, posting a 4-0 record in the round-robin to advance to the championship game.

They also had beaten the Nipigon Feathermen Hawks 4-1 and the St. Paul Lakers 5-2 to open play Thursday, then downed the Northwest Wisconsin Knights 7-4 on Friday night.

This weekend marks the start of the SIJHL’s second regular season, with the Thunder hosting the Feathermen Hawks on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

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