The Borderland Thunder failed to extend their lead over the second-place Feathermen Hawks, losing 5-1 to the host Dryden Ice Dogs last night.
The Ice Dogs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period on goals by Manuel Brousseau, Shawn Bishop, and Mike Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh’s goal came with just 38 seconds left in the period.
Kyle Prystupa put the Thunder on the board midway through the second but Colton Steinhoff and Steve Roy tallied in the third to seal the win for the Ice Dogs.
The Thunder and Dryden had tied 3-3 here Tuesday to open their home-and-home series.
The Thunder sit atop the Superior International Junior Hockey League standings with 61 points—seven more than the Hawks, who host the last-place Thunder Bay Wolves tonight.
The Hawks then will host the fourth-place Thunder Bay K.C. Bulldogs for a pair of games over the weekend.
The Thunder don’t play again until March 8-9, when they’ll wrap up the regular season with a pair of games here against the Hawks.
Thunder head coach Wayne Strachan said his team knows there’s a tough road ahead for them.
“We’re not going to panic yet but we have to start working hard again,” he said. “If we’re not going to work hard, it could be a problem in the playoffs.”
The Thunder are winless in the last four games.