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Power play woes trouble Airdrie Thunder as team fails to capitalize

By: Lucas Punkari

  |  Posted: Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 11:13 am

Airdrie Thunder forward Brett Hanson found the back of the net for his team on Nov. 23 in a 4-2 loss to the Mountainview Colts in Didsbury.
Airdrie Thunder forward Brett Hanson found the back of the net for his team on Nov. 23 in a 4-2 loss to the Mountainview Colts in Didsbury.
FILE PHOTO/Rocky View Publishing

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An inability to cash in on the power play proved to be the Airdrie Thunder’s undoing in Didsbury on Nov. 23, as it dropped a 4-2 decision to the Mountainview Colts in Heritage Junior Hockey League (HJHL) action.

Although it held a 2-1 lead after the second period and a 43-39 advantage in the shots on goal department, the Thunder was unable to capitalize on the extra space it had on the ice when Colts players were forced to sit in the penalty box.

“We were one for nine on the power play against the Colts, which included a pair of five-on-threes, and that’s not good enough,” Thunder Head Coach Cam Aplin said. “Our power play has been inconsistent for the last couple of weeks, as we haven’t been able to clip along at the 25 per cent rate that we want to be at.”

“This is something that we have been working on over the last couple of weeks, and we are going to keep working on it in order to get better,” he added.

Despite the team’s woes with the man advantage, Aplin said he felt the Thunder played well in its loss to the Colts, which dropped its overall record to 6-10-0-1 for the season.

“We didn’t play our very best in the first period, but we turned it on in the second period by out chancing them and scoring two goals,” he said. “We were working hard in front of the net and playing strong defensively, which was something that the guys carried over from their previous games (on Nov. 15 and 17 against Ponoka and Banff) where we picked up the win.”

Second-period goals from Airdrie native Mark Kunitz and Brett Hanson of Beausejour, Man. gave the Thunder a 2-1 lead heading into the final frame, where players saw the momentum the team had gained shift to the Colts.

“Early in the third period, we had a five-on-three power play where we could have taken over control of the game, but we were unable to score a goal,” Aplin said. “They (the Colts) were able to score right after that, and then they got a short-handed goal late in the third to take the lead before they scored an empty-net goal to finish it off.”

The Thunder will be looking to return to its winning ways this weekend in a pair of games.

It will play host to Coaldale Cobras in an 8 p.m. game at the Ron Ebbesen Arena on Nov. 29 before travelling to Red Deer on Nov. 30 for an 8 p.m. date with the Red Deer Vipers at the Red Deer Arena.

“We will be working on the same things that we have been over the last couple of weeks heading into those games,” Aplin said.

“We need to work on our power play so that we can cash in on our scoring chances, and we will also be working on our defensive play, as it’s important to be strong at that end of the rink.”


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