Airdrie Thunder drop two in weekend triple-header
The Airdrie Thunder were hoping for three victories, but came away with one win and two losses after a three-game weekend, Oct. 5 to 7.
It was only a one-goal deficit, but three tallies in the first period by the High River Flyers in the Thunder’s first game of the weekend, Oct. 5 was too much to come back from for the Thunder, as it lost 4-2.
Rookie Tyler Perkins and captain Alex Hustad recorded both Thunder goals in the first frame.
“You can’t get down 3-0 in games and expect to battle back all the time,” said Thunder Head Coach Cam Aplin. “We made some big mistakes in our end by not picking up the guy coming in late. We were focused on the puck too much rather than picking up the guy coming in.”
A flurry of chances in the third period nearly sparked a Thunder comeback, but if Flyer goaltender Cam Howell didn’t stop the puck, it hit a defenceman in front. The Flyer’s furious shot blocking paired with a lack of rebound control by the Thunder stymied the team’s chances to win and Aplin said the team needs to attack the net with a greater sense of urgency.
“We created a lot of chances in the third, but you have to go to the tough spot on the ice, which is the scoring box, with authority and you have to have that killer instinct,” he said. “I don’t think we have that right now. We’re not getting there for the rebounds and going to the net hard enough.”
With three games in three nights, Aplin said the team needed to follow up the home loss with a win on the road and the team came through, defeating the Stettler Lightning 5-4, Oct. 6. Dylan Johnston recorded a goal and three assists while rookie Donavon Henrion scored his first two goals of the season.
Henrion also added an assist on Airdrie’s only goal by Dane Gallant in the team’s weekend finale against the Cochrane Generals, Oct. 7. Another slow start spelled another loss for the Thunder, as it dropped a 5-1 decision to the Generals.
“They came out hard, and we didn’t play that great” said Thunder defenceman Ashton Sheen. “We kind of sat back and played their game.
“We need to play hard in the beginning of games. We’ve been getting bad starts lately. It’s pretty important. We’ve been trying to come from down in games and it’s too hard to do. We’ve got to come out hard and play our game right from the beginning.”
It was a banner game for a pair of first-year generals as rookie goaltender Myles Magnusson got his first win and forward Reed Boothby scored his first-ever Junior B goal.
“I’m pretty fired up about it,” Boothby said. He came out of the penalty box, took a chip up the boards from Tyson Soloski and broke in alone before sneaking the puck between Monkman’s legs.
Airdrie’s next home game is Oct. 12 at the Ron Ebbesen Arena aganist the Red Deer Vipers. Game time is 8 p.m.
With files from Brendan Nagle at the Cochrane Eagle.