Improving on-ice play is the priority at the Borderland Thunder’s practices this week as they prepare to host the Thunder Bay Wolves on Sunday.
But as the Thunder languish in a seven-game winless skid, talk of roster movement is weighing heavy on the minds of team officials.
“I think we have to get some things solved right now,” Thunder head coach Wayne Strachan said after his team blew a 4-2 lead in the third period Saturday to fall to the visiting Iron Range Yellow Jackets 6-4—their first home loss of the year.
The two teams had battled to a 5-5 tie here Friday night.
“We definitely have a few trades in the works. We’re looking to make the team better now,” Strachan said.
Thunder general manager Brent Tookenay would not confirm if any trades had been finalized.
“We’re always looking to improve the team, whether that be through trades or from waived players,” he said yesterday.
Sitting in third place in the Superior International Junior Hockey League standings, the Thunder (7-7-5) find the gap between them and the league-leading Dryden Ice Dogs widening.
And the Thunder are feeling pressure from below as the resurgent Thunder Bay KC Bulldogs (8-6-1) find themselves just one point behind in fourth place.
While the basement-dwelling Wolves may seem like a walkover, Strachan said fans shouldn’t be fooled by their 1-13-1 record. “We’re finding every game in this league is tough,” he said.
Still, there have been some bright sports during the winless streak. Recent addition Chad Baldwin was a spark for the Thunder during their games against the Yellow Jackets—registering a goal and two assists in both games.
The International Falls native was paired up with Matt Johnson and Justin Bodnarchuk, who continue to be the Thunder’s most consistent one-two punch.
Adam McTavish had seen playing time with the duo in previous games but injured his shoulder and didn’t suit up against the Iron Range. Defenceman David Lloyd also missed last weekend’s games due to soreness in his leg.
Game time for the game against the Wolves is 3 p.m. at the “Ice for Kids” Arena. Tickets cost $7 for adults and $5 for stu-dents/seniors.