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Thunder battle travel woes to earn wins

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Despite the postponement of Friday night’s game in Thunder Bay due to the fatal accident on the Trans-Canada highway, the Borderland Thunder earned 5-1 and 2-1 wins against the Wolves on Saturday and Sunday.

The wins kept the Thunder (10-7-5) in third place in the Superior International Junior Hockey League standings.

A make-up date for Friday’s game has yet to announced.

The Thunder also got a look at its two new players in the lineup, defenceman Ryan Hampton and goalie Rob Hrabec.

After being acquired from the Waywayseecappo Wolverines of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League for defenceman Marty Hanson and future considerations last Wednesday, Hrabec was put to work right away—earning both wins between the pipes.

Hampton also saw regular action on the weekend. He had been traded to the Thunder last week by the Winnipeg Saints of the MJHL for future considerations.

The Thunder got power-play goals from Terry Parisien and Kevin Webb in the first and second periods, respectively, en route to yesterday’s narrow win.

Ryan Oceanic replied for the Wolves in the second.

While pleased with the win, Thunder head coach Wayne Strachan said both teams hit a lull after grabbing a two-goal lead.

“We got up early 2-0 and we played to their level,” he said. “They started taking some undisciplined penalties and we, in turn, got retaliation penalties.

“There wasn’t a lot of flow.”

On Saturday, the Thunder got goals from Webb (two), Josh Baxter, and Chad Baldwin to build an early lead. Kyle Prystupa, who returned after a lengthy knee injury, rounded out the scoring early in the third.

Wes Thom netted the Wolves’ only goal.

Webb’s goals gave him 21 on the season—tops in the SIJHL.

Elsewhere in the SIJHL over the weekend, the Thunder Bay KC Bulldogs split a pair of games with the Northwest Wisconsin Knights, losing 3-1 on Friday before winning 6-5 Saturday.

Meanwhile, the first-place Dryden Ice Dogs (13-5-4) got a crucial 6-3 home win against the second-place Feathermen Hawks (12-7-2) on Saturday.

The Thunder will head up to Dryden on Wednesday with a chance to take over second place with a win against the Ice Dogs.

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