Airdrie Thunder splits weekend series
A three-goal lead is usually a good cushion to have, but it wasn’t enough to secure a win for the Airdrie Thunder. The Thunder lost 5-4 to the Coaldale Copperheads, Jan. 25.
A dominant 40 minutes and goals by Alex Diduch, Daniel Hounjet, Matt Flette and Alex Hustad gave the Thunder a considerable lead, but it gave way against a flood of third-period tallies from Coaldale. It was another penalty filled affair for the Thunder and three of the Copperheads’ goals came on the powerplay.
“Anytime you get a 4-1 lead that is where you want to be,” said Thunder assistant coach Brandon Miller.
“We played a pretty good 40 minutes. We made some errors, but we were good enough defensively to make sure the puck got out.
“They scored a quick goal (in the third). That kind of set us back and we never got the momentum back.”
The Thunder rebounded to close out the weekend with a 6-2 win over the Mountainview Colts, Jan. 26.
The Thunder jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period with goals from Hustad, Aidan Crowther and Brett Hanson. Crowther and Hanson added their second tallies of the game in the second period and Alex Diduch sealed the win with his 13th goal of the season.
With three games left in the regular season, the Thunder are still sitting in third place, four points ahead of the Three Hills Thrashers.
Miller said the team needs to be mentally prepared heading into the post-season.
“I think the effort and the energy are there,” he said.
“I think (the loss) was more of a mental thing. The guys that were here last year know we don’t want to go to Didsbury in fourth place.”
No matter where it places, a positive that will carry the Thunder into the playoffs is the players’ health.
The team was hampered by major injuries to Aidan Crowther, Taylor Crossley and Kade Taplin earlier in the season, but barring any incidents in the last three games, the team is heading into the post-season with a full, healthy roster.
The Thunder will host the Stettler Wildcats Feb. 1 and then visit the Three Hill Thrashers, Feb. 2, before playing its last regular season home game Feb. 15.