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Thunder open on winning note

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The Borderland Thunder won their first game ever, beating the Feathermen Hawks (Thunder Bay) 7-4 in the opener of the Superior International Junior Hockey League’s pre-season tournament this morning in Thunder Bay.

Thunder head coach Wayne Strachan was pleased how his team picked up its confidence after trailing 1-0 in the first period.

“I think our biggest problem was our confidence. Some of them were a little nervous, not knowing what to expect in their first junior action,” he said.

“[But] they settled down and started doing what they were capable doing.”

The Thunder went with two main lines, including one featuring Kenora’s Matt Johnson and Kyle Prystupa, who each had two goals.

Steven King also tallied twice for the Thunder, with former Muskie co-MVP Kevin Webb adding the other. Tommy Iwaniec earned the win in goal.

Strachan said most of the damage was done on two power plays in the third period to blow open a close 3-2 game after 40 minutes.

“Our boys realized what they could do and the hockey isn’t that different,” he noted.

The Thunder will face off against the Iron Range Yellow Jackets (Grand Rapids, Mn.) at 7 p.m. tonight, with Jason Flatt getting the call between the pipes.

Third goalie Chris Cain will see action tomorrow when the Thunder face Dryden. They’ll meet the Northwest Wisconsin Knights (Spooner) later Saturday in hopes of qualify for the one-game final Sunday.

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