Thunder Hockey Suffer Two Tough Losses, Finish Out of PlayoffsPosted on: Mar 3, 2014
Although they gave it a gallant effort, the Thunder Men's Hockey team dropped their final two regular season games and found themselves out of the ACAC playoff picture. Just two points ahead of the Portage College Voyageurs going into the final weekend of regular season play, the Thunder needed a 4-point combination of Thunder wins and Portage losses to secure the final playoff spot. On Friday night, the Thunder – despite being down 5 starters due to injury – put up a great fight but were scored on 4 times while shorthanded and took a 4-2 loss to the Augustana Vikings. Their rivals from Portage also took a loss against Red Deer which meant that another loss by the Voyageurs on Saturday would propel the Thunder into the post-season regardless of the outcome of their own Saturday game.
However it was not to be. Instead, the worst-case scenario unfolded with Portage taking an unlikely victory off of Red Deer and the Thunder suffering another 4-2 loss to the Vikings in Camrose. With the teams deadlocked in the standings, ACAC tie-breaker rules awarded the Voyageurs the 6th and final playoff spot by virtue of having more regulation wins and left the Thunder on the outside looking in.
Although there will be a number of significant personnel changes for the team, the core of the Thunder Men's Hockey squad looks to stay intact for the 2014-15 season and with a probable return to Clareview Arena after Christmas, the Thunder will be looking to shake off the rarity of a missed post-season and get back in the hunt for ACAC Gold.