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Thistles in the News...
Date: November 27, 2007 Author: LOW Sr. Mens Hockey
  The Thistles are making headlines ... click here to read what is being said about the team.

Senior hockey returning to Kenora
Kenora hockey fans will have a new team to support next season as senior hockey makes its return to the city.

By Peter James
Miner and News
Tuesday March 28, 2006

Kenora hockey fans will have a new team to support next season as senior hockey makes its return to the city.
Ryan Reynard said a group of players plan to resurrect the Thistle brand at the senior AAA level in the fall and will begin the quest to win the Allan Cup for Kenora.
“We’re pretty excited about it. We’re going to take a shot at it,” Reynard said.
He said with the 100th anniversary of the Thistles Stanley Cup championship coming in 2007 and events already being planned to commemorate that event, the time was right to start this new team.

The group is still in its infancy. Reynard has been named team president and will also play on the team. The search is underway for a coach and a manager as well as sponsors.
Reynard said the team hopes to play a 10-14 game season, playing exhibition games against other senior AAA teams from Thunder Bay and Manitoba before entering the Allan Cup playdowns.
The team has about eight players now with junior, college or pro experience and they will be holding open tryouts in the fall. All players must be 18 years old or above to qualify.
“They had to have played fairly competitive hockey at a high skill level,” Reynard said of his prospective teammates.
Reynard knows what it takes to have success at the senior level. He played with the Thunder Bay Twins when they resurrected their program two years ago and have already gone on to capture a national title.
“It’s good quick hockey,” Reynard said, noting the fans should enjoy themselves at the games.
Kenora has a strong history in senior hockey, but in recent times interest has petered out. Reynard hopes this new initiative revives the support.

Senior Thistles get a coach
Don Osborne to head defensive line

By Neil MacKinnon
Kenora Daily Miner and News
Thursday August 24, 2006

Kenora’s Senior Thistles named another player and a new member of their coaching staff Wednesday.
Bryan Booth will be stepping onto the Thistles bench while Don Osborne will be anchoring the fledgling club’s defence.
Booth, who played for the old Lake of the Woods Canadians until its dissolution in 1989, said he’s looking forward to the opportunity to help steer the team.
“My hope its that we’ll have a hard working team,” he said. “We’re looking for a fast paced, disciplined and physical brand of hockey.”

Osborne, who won two Colonial Cups with the Thunder Bay Senators and played varsity with Michigan Tech in the early 90s, said he hopes to bring some experience and leadership along with him.
“I’ll probably be the oldest guy on the team,” the 38-year-old laughed.
“But the competitive juices are still there and I think I still have something to contribute, if I don’t make an ass out of myself. Maybe I’m just trying to figure out if it’s time to hang them up or not.
“There’s a few guys around town still playing in their 60’s. I’d like to do that myself when the time comes.”
Thistles tryout camp starts Sept. 30.

Minor anxious to suit up for Thistles
Kenora’s Senior A Thistles hockey club has announced another local addition to their roster.

By Neil MacKinnon
Miner and News Staff
Tuesday September 12, 2006

Kenora’s Senior A Thistles hockey club has announced another local addition to their roster.
Forward Jamie Minor, who played two seasons with the Thunder Bay Flyers, amassing 36 points in 87 games, before heading to the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, where he notched 53 points in 56 games over three seasons has joined the team.
Minor said he’s really looking forward to suiting up for the club, but sees a few obstacles in the road.
“Getting into game shape is going to take some work,” he said with a laugh.

“It has been a few years since I played competitive hockey so that’s where my main challenge lies for now.”
Between getting back into game form and preparing for a return to contact hockey, Minor hopes to contribute as a solid two-way player.
“I think I’ll have something to offer in both the defensive and offensive zones,” he said.
“That’s where I really think I’ll be able to help the team out.”
Minor’s brother Doug, who lives in Dryden, is also considering playing for the team, but has yet to confirm either way.
The Thistles training and tryout camp is set for Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 and is open to any player from Kenora and the surrounding area.
It’ll be a scrimmage format and from that, any remaining spots on the roster will be filled.

Sports Briefs
Senior Thistles split series in Weyburn

By Miner and News Staff
Tuesday November 21, 2006

It was a trip designed as much to get a feel for how much work they have to do to be competitive as it was to get some more games under their belts.
In both instances, the Kenora Thistles senior hockey club is considering their trip to Weyburn, Sask. a success.
The Thistles split their weekend excursion west with Weyburn, last year’s Saskatchewan-Manitoba representative at the Allan Cup.
The Thistles took the first match in a 5-4 decision with goals from Jay Kelly, Don Osbourne, Mike Greaves, Matt Richards and Ryan Lentz.
Ryan Temple picked up the win in goal.
They lost the follow-up tilt Sunday, however, 9-6.
Scoring for the Thistles were Sean Hughes, Don Osbourne, Ryan Reynard with a pair, Dean Smith and Jamie Minor.
Will Cox was in net.

Reynard said he was pleased with the results and said while they still need work on their systems and conditioning, the club is cruising right along.
“Considering they went to the Allan Cup last year as the Saskatchewan-Manitoba rep and have a lot of the same guys, we’re very pleased with the effort” Reynard said., “We wanted to make sure we could compete, with AAA teams and we’re right there
“It was a big weekend for us, a big test and I think we came though it with flying colours.”
Next up for the Thistles is their first home game, Dec. 10 against Selkirk.
On Dec. 16 and 17, Weyburn comes to town for a rematch.
Game times are still pending.

Midget woes continue
Glimmers of hope were abundant for the AAA Midget Thistles over the weekend, but instead all they got was more of the same.
The Thistles were dumped 7-2 by the Southwest Cougars Saturday in Souris, Man.
On Sunday against the Brandon Wheat Kings, things got even worse for the Thistles as they were hammered 11-1.
Tim Harris was a lone bright spot for the club in both games, scoring all three Thistles goals.
The club is still winless on the season, with an 0-14-0-1 record, with only 24 goals scored in 15 games and 112 against – a league-low on all accounts.
This weekend the Thistles play host to Central Plains. Game time Saturday is 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Central Plains is currently in the middle of the West division pack, with 5-9-2-0 record, putting them 14 points behind West Division leading Brandon.

Senior Thistles make nostalgic return
After a 17 year absence, senior AAA hockey made a triumphant return to Kenora over the weekend.

By Neil MacKinnon
Miner and News
Monday December 18, 2006

After a 17 year absence, senior AAA hockey made a triumphant return to Kenora over the weekend.
Under a new moniker and with an almost entirely new roster – with the exception of defenceman Don Osborne who played with the old Lake of the Woods Canadians until their dissolution in 1989 – the Thistles nearly made good on coach Bryan Booth’s prediction of two wins against the visiting Weyburn Devils.
“Overall, we’re pretty happy with our effort,” Booth said.
“We could have had those two wins, too, but that’s just the way she goes sometimes.’
Saturday night, the Thistles came out with a thirst for blood, scoring four goals in the opening frame and one in the third to take a 5-3 win in their first home game of the season.
Jamie Minor got things off to a hopping start for the Thistles just one minute and two seconds into the tilt with a well-placed slapper that stretched the twine just inside the far post, giving the hometown club an early 1-0 lead. Towering defenceman Jason Kelly took advantage of a five on three situation less than two minutes later, driving home a pass from Ryan Lentz.
Marty Straight kept the ball rolling less than eight minutes into the first and Ryan Reynard closed off the scoring frenzy with four minutes and seven seconds remaining in the opening frame to make it 4-0 Thistles.

While Weyburn potted two goals in the second and one in the third, Jeff Bowen hammered home a whiffed Reynard pass in the slot to seal the game at 5-3.
Bowen said he hopes the club’s tendency to take a period off doesn’t become a regular occurrence.
“We’re having a little trouble stringing together a full game,” he said.
“Once we do, it’ll be alright. We took it to them early and then let them back in it.
“It was just nice to be playing in front of a big home crowd like that.
“It has been quite awhile since I’ve had the chance to do it and having that kind of support was great.”
More than 1,400 people flooded through the Kenora Recreation Centre gates Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon to see the return of the Thistles and while their first game was a total success, Sunday left something to be desired.
While Mike Greaves, Osborne and Reynard all scored for the Thistles, Weyburn walked away with a 5-3 victory of their own, including an empty net goal from Willy Mason with just over one minute remaining.
For Greaves, whose goal came as the result of a greasy puck sliding through the pads of Weyburn keeper Cory McEachern and right on to his wide open stick at the lip of the crease, it was a nice way to bring senior hockey back to Kenora, even tough they couldn’t make it two straight.
“It’s all about gelling and getting into good habits,” Greaves said. “We need to figure out who’s doing what and right now, we’ll take things as they come.It was great to see al these people come out and support us.
“It’s never fun to lose, but we’re still on a learning curve.”
The Thistles next home game is Jan. 20 at 7:30 p.m. against Isle de Chenes.

Senior Thistles ‘fired up’ for weekend tilt

By Neil MacKinnon
Miner and News
Thursday January 18, 2007

It’s going to be a fierce battle, even though they’re not certain what they’re up against.
“We’ve been trying to find out what they’ve got for players, but I don’t think anyone has been able to find out anything about them,” said Kenora Senior AAA Thistles defenceman Don Osborne of the club’s Saturday night fight against the 2003 Allan Cup Champion Isle de Chenes North Stars – the first time the biggest trophy in Canadian senior hockey made the trek to Manitoba in nearly 40 years.
Thistles starting goaltender Ryan Tempel, originally from Winnipeg, said Isle de Chenes always has a competitive team and while he’s not sure what they’ll have left from the team that represented Canada at the 2004 Nagano Cup, he is certain they will be highly skilled and competitive.
“They’re a very well run organization, they’re always at or near the top of the Manitoba/Saskatchewan region for the Allan Cup and we’re expecting a heck of a game,” he said.
The Thistles enter the weekend with a 3-2 exhibition game record and after winning their inaugural home game against Weyburn on Dec. 16, expectations are high for the hometown boys to stick it to the visiting squad early and often.
“For us, this is a really big weekend, we only have one game and everybody is fired up,” Osborne said. “It’s such a big game for us because we’ll be able to get a feel for where we stand among the upper-echelon teams in senior AAA hockey.”
Especially considering the city will be in the thick of its Stanley Cup Centennial celebrations and the senior club will face off 99 years and 364 days from the very moment of that win, an added impetus on victory will be in the back of every players’ mind, said Tempel.

“For us to do well in this game is extremely important,” Tempel said. “People have come out and supported us and we know just how important this one is because of the whole tone of the weekend and the excitement that surrounds it.
“We want to come out of the weekend with a win.
“Just the nostalgia around it all, we’re very honoured that we can be a part of the celebrations commemorating the team that paved the way and won the Stanley Cup.”
A good crowd turnout could prove to be a determining factor in any potential success.
In the Thistles’ two-game series against Weyburn, more than 1,400 people flooded past the gates to see the return of senior hockey to the city.
They’re hoping for the same, if not better, turnout this time around.
“It really gets you going,” Osborne said.
“Even in warmup, when you’ve got all these people standing around watching, it’s pretty exciting. After our first home game there, I said to the guys in the dressing room ‘it has been 20 years since I played in front of that kind of crowd.’
“That’s a feeling you can’t help but feed off of.”
Thistles head coach Bryan Booth said they are truly appreciative of the support the community has given them thus far and while he wouldn’t make any predictions about the outcome like he did last time around, he would guarantee one thing.
“We’re going to go out there and work as hard as we can. We’ve done a lot of work on our power play and penalty kill and we’re not going to let the pressure of the weekend get to us.
“We’re going to treat it like any other game and do the best that we can.”
Game time Saturday is 7 p.m. Tickets, available at the door, are $6 for adults, $4 for students and seniors, and children under 10 are free.

Thistles fall to Stars in shootout
Kenora’s Senior AAA Thistles had their hands full with the Brandon Northstars Saturday night, giving up two goals in a shootout to pick up their third loss of their exhibition season.

By Neil MacKinnon
Miner and News
Monday January 22, 2007

Kenora’s Senior AAA Thistles had their hands full with the Brandon Northstars Saturday night, giving up two goals in a shootout to pick up their third loss of their exhibition season.
Brandon, formerly Isle des Chenes, went up 2-0 in the tilt before the Kenora offence hit their full stride, with Matt Richards bringing the Thistles within one in front of a boisterous crowd of more than 1,500 at the Kenora Recreation Centre.
Jamie Minor knotted it up at 2-2 in the third and the club’s head coach Bryan Booth was ecstatic that they were able to battle back from the deficit.
“I was very pleased with our effort,” he said. “We dug down deep there and tied it up against a team that we knew was going to be very skilled and very fast. We were having some trouble scoring and I told them not to panic, just keep working hard and the goals will come. We were getting a lot of chances, I knew it would come around and it did.”
While the game normally would have went into overtime, Brandon was looking to get on the road and opted instead for the shootout, a request to which the Thistles obliged.

Brandon stretched the twine twice out of their five shooters while Kenora was unable to pot one and after four of their shooters had gone, that was all she wrote.
Far from disappointed with a loss under such circumstances, Ryan Reynard, who rattled his shootout attempt off the butt end of the Brandon goalie’s stick, said it would have been much better if they could have found some puck luck.
“We’re not disappointed at all,” Reynard said. “We were just happy to tie it up and with the effort that we put forth.
“We were really taking it to them there in the third and couldn’t buy a goal, we couldn’t get a lucky bounce.”
The large, vocal crowd exceeded the club’s expectations and Reynard said it really helped them build some momentum back up.
“It’s always awesome to play in front of that kind of crowd,” he said. “It was big and vocal and you can’t help but get excited when you’re playing in front of that.
“We really have to thank the people of Kenora for being so supportive.”
The Thistles, who now sit at an even 3-3 record on the season, have a number of exhibition games in the works, including a trip to Brandon for a rematch in February and a potential visit from a team out of Halifax in March, but no dates have yet been set in stone.

Four players now sidelined
Injuries costly for Senior Thistles in Brandon

By Neil MacKinnon
Kenora Daily Miner and News
Thursday March 15, 2007

The injury bug didn’t do any favours for Kenora’s senior AAA Thistles in their weekend affair in Brandon.
With four key players out of the lineup due to injury and prior commitments, the Thistles took on the North Stars Saturday and Sunday with an already depleted roster.
After getting blanked 4-0 Saturday, the Thistles lost another pair of defenceman, both to shoulder injuries,and their staring goaltender Ryan Tempel which put them in even more of a hole heading into Sunday’s rematch.
Clint Fenelon missed a check Saturday and when he put his arm out in an effort to rebound, his shoulder popped out, while Jay Bergman jarred his shoulder minutes later and missed Sunday’s game as well.
They lost that one 6-3, despite two goals from Matt Richards and the other from veteran blueliner Don Osborne.
Both matches, however, were much closer than the scores might otherwise indicate, said player-coach Ryan Reynard, as the Thistles had skated to a 0-0 tie late in the third period Saturday when Tempel got hurt.
Will Cox went in as his replacement, but was a little cold and after a flukey first goal went in off two Thistles players, the North Stars slammed home three more to end the match 4-0.

Sunday was more of the same as it was tied at 3-3 with a minute left in the middle frame when the Thistles took a penalty and Brandon capitalized on the power play opportunity to take a 4-3 lead heading into the final period, where they scored two more to end it 6-3.
“We went in with basically three lines and it was a pretty tough scenario considering they had their full team and are gearing up for the Allan Cup,” said Reynard.
“Overall, we’re still pretty pleased with our effort and the way things went, there’s not much you can do when you’re hurting like we were.”
The two losses brought the Thistles’ season exhibition record to 3-5, with three of their notches in the loss column now coming at the hands of Brandon.
And despite winding up on the wrong side of the scoreboard, the Thistles did get some good news this week as they will be hosting the Renwick Cup after all.
The provincial championships were handed down to Kenora after the Thunder Bay Bombers officially pulled the plug on their season last week, giving the Thistles the opportunity to play host.
But, with a First Nations tournament slated for the same weekend, April 6-8, there was a drastic shortage of ice time which put the whole thing up in the air.
Now, however, First Nations tournament organizers have said they will reshuffle their schedule to accommodate the Thistles bid for the Allan Cup berth.
“We were certainly doing everything we could to make sure we could host it,” Reynard said.
“We’re very fortunate that the organizers of the First Nations tournament came back and said they switch things up to accommodate us.”
The Thistles now await the outcome of a seven game series between the Whitby Dunlops and Brantford Blast which kicks off tomorrow.
The winner will head to Kenora for the final best-of-three showdown, the Renwick Cup, to decide who will represent the province at the Allan Cup.
The provincial finals game times have yet to be set, but are tentatively on tap for April 7-9.

Provincials yanked from Senior Thistles

By Neil MacKinnon
Miner and News
Thursday March 29, 2007

Flabbergasted and frustrated, Ryan Reynard is highly perturbed by a recent Hockey Canada decision which tore the Renwick Cup hosting duties away from the fledgling Senior AAA Thistles and forked it over to Whitby.
“When I got the call, I didn’t take it seriously at first,” Reynard said. “And then I found out it wasn’t a joke, the south had appealed the decision to host it in Kenora ... and Hockey Canada had revoked our hosting capacity and moved it down south.
“I thought you’ve got to be kidding me.
“Frustrating wouldn’t even be the word. Hockey Northwestern Ontario let us down.”
It had been a hectic month for the Thistles since they initially found out they inherited the opportunity to host the provincial senior AAA finals from the now defunct Thunder Bay Bombers.
Initial problems wreaked havoc on the Thistles’ hopes to play host as a First Nations hockey tournament is slated for April 6-8 in Kenora – the same weekend as the Renwick Cup is mandated by the Ontario Hockey Association to run.
There wasn't any available ice at the Kenora Recreation Centre to do both.
After consulting with First Nations tournament organizers, the Thistles had managed to scrape up enough ice so the Renwick Cup could be played on their home turf, but again, there was another problem, it had to be moved back one day in order to do it.

Instead of Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the best-of-three series was tentatively set for Saturday and Sunday with the final game on the Monday.
Unfortunately, it was one day too many and Reynard didn’t even know that was an issue until it was too late.
“We worked hard to work out the dates so we could have it the same weekend, albeit one day off, and to have it yanked out from underneath us like that, it’s almost a joke. We weren’t told there was an appeal, we weren’t given the opportunity to try and fix it, we weren’t told anything about it so we could go back and try to work something out.
“It was this arbitrary decision that was made and the branch basically went along with it.”
No wiggle room
The branch, for their part, said they didn’t have much wiggle room and that it essentially came down to a black and white stipulation of dates set in stone before the season even started, said Hockey Northwestern Ontario senior hockey convenor Dean Filane.
“The dates that were declared in the minutes of the fall council were the 6, 7 and 8 and they couldn’t secure the ice in Kenora for those dates.
“Southern Ontario took exception to that, appealed for the provincials, could host on those dates and Hockey Canada had to move it down south.
“I’m disappointed. I know the Thistles are disappointed, the branch is disappointed, no one really comes out of this thing a winner except the south.
“Once you give them an opportunity to appeal based on not going on the minutes, it’s hard to win those battles. They just refer back to the minutes and it becomes an open and shut case no matter what sympathies you try to stir up.
“It’s very unfortunate they weren’t able to secure the ice, I know Kenora would have done a great job.”
With the Renwick Cup now set to be played in Whitby next weekend against the Dunlops, Reynard thinks they’ve missed a major opportunity and he’s pretty clear about his bitterness.
“You work so hard at getting this thing off the ground and going and it seems like there’s so many people, aside from our fans, who want to see us fail.
“Things are working against us, the south didn’t want to come up here and found a way to force us down there. All over one day.”

Senior Thistles take their Renwick lumps
There’s no trip to the Allan Cup in the works

By Neil MacKinnon
Miner and News
Monday April 09, 2007

There’s no trip to the Allan Cup in the works as Kenora’s Senior AAA Thistles had their season put to rest Saturday night in a Renwick Cup sweep.
After keeping Game 1 as tight as it could be Friday night only to lose 4-3 to the Whitby Dunlops, the Thistles were blasted 11-0 Saturday turning their dreams of a shot at the big show in their inaugural season into a nightmare.
The Dunlops’ 11 goals came on just 25 shots, and two of their goals came shorthanded.
Ryan Tempel, who had stood firm between the pipes for the Thistles Friday, was yanked after the second period while the Kenora club was already down 8-0.
“We just started flat,” said Thistles bench boss Bryan Booth. “That’s the only real difference I can think of. We could have easily won on Friday if we could have gotten a few more bounces our way, but Saturday we simply came out flat and couldn’t come back.”

The Thistles were down 5-0 after the first period and it only got worse from here.
Friday was a different story all together, though, as veteran defenceman Don Osborne put the Thistles up 1-0 less than three minutes into the game.
While the first period ended tied at 1-1, and the Thistles took an early second period 2-1 lead off a Matt Johnson goal, Whitby again tied it up late in the frame at 2-2.
The Dunlops took their first lead of the game less than four minutes into the third. While Johnson marked his second of the match on the powerplay less than three minutes later, Whitby sealed the deal on the powerplay themselves with under 11 minutes remaining in the match.
The Renwick Cup disappointment was only the last in a long string of unfortunate events for the Thistles, who had a number of games cancelled after the Christmas break due to schedule conflicts and travel issues.
It didn’t help either that they were initially set to host the Renwick Cup only to have it ripped away at the 11th hour due to more scheduling issues.
Still, Booth said it was a good experience and he’s proud of how his players handled themselves.
“We ran into some real adversity near the end of the season.” Booth said. “We’re disappointed we lost 11-0 for sure, but the boys still put forth a good effort and we’re already looking at next year.”
The Thistles finished the season with 3-7 overall record.

Senior Thistles ready for season two

By Neil MacKinnon
Miner and News
Thursday August 23, 2007

It was only a month ago when the future of Kenora’s Senior AAA Thistles was up in the air.
After a highly successful inaugural season and tremendous local interest, the club’s player/manager Ryan Reynard just wasn’t sure they would be able to field a team for another season.
“I was laying back quiet for awhile, I wasn’t sure we were going to have the team again,” Reynard said. “I wasn’t sure this new Manitoba league was going to pan out, I wasn’t sure we’d be able to get the ice time we’d need.
“It all hinged on ice time and while we still don’t have as much practice time as we’d like, the most important thing for us was securing game times and we’ve done that.”

Now, everything has shaped up nicely for the Thistles, who will have a dozen home games next season as part of an affiliate relationship with the fledgling Manitoba East Hockey League .
And plans are already in the works to sell season passes, although no price has yet been determined.
“It’s going to be a lot less work than last year, a lot less of a scramble,” Reynard said.
“This year, we’ve got all our games secured in advance and we’re going to be able to put some quality hockey together for our fans in Kenora. Having 12 games set is awesome and we’re excited that we’ve been able to pull it off. Now, we just need ot work on some road games.”
The Thistles will hold their try-outs for this year’s installment Sept. 29 and 30 and they are in the midst of acquiring a new set of white home jerseys. And Saturday, they’ll be hosting their first fundraiser of the season, a volleyball tournament behind Casey’s Restaurant which will send its proceeds to both the club and Triple Play.

Senior Thistles back in action
Kenora’s Senior AAA Thistles had a lighter than expected turnout last weekend for their tryouts, with just 18 skaters and two goalies at camp.
In total, six others had to miss the Thistles’ opening camp due to other commitments.

And while Clint Fenelon and Tim Skead will not be playing for the Thistles this season for personal reasons, head coach Bryan Booth was still pleased with the talent that did show up.
“We had fewer guys come out than we were hoping for, but there’s still a good, talented group there,” he said. “It’s unfortunate for the start of the year, but it was to be expected. I just hope that once we get going full swing with practises, everyone is able to make it out.”
The Thistles have a full slate of home games this season -- 12 in total -- starting with a two-game home stand Oct. 27 and 28 against the Sagkeeng Braves. Season passes are on sale for $80 for adults and $50 for seniors and students.

Senior Thistles throttle Braves
Kenora’s Senior AAA Thistles got their season off to a booming start over the weekend

By Neil MacKinnon
Miner and News
Monday October 29, 2007

Kenora’s Senior AAA Thistles got their season off to a booming start over the weekend, completely obliterating the Sagkeeng Braves 9-2 Saturday night and 10-1 Sunday at the Kenora Recreation Centre.
“We haven’t had too much practise time yet, so it was good to get out there and get some game experience,” said Sean Hughes, who had four goals over the two games. “We kept them in it a little bit, their goalie played well and we should have had a lot more goals than we did.”
Saturday night, the Thistles’ Jamie Minor put the hometown club on the board first with a backhander 39 seconds in. Less than a minute later, Jay Bergman took a pass at the side of the Sagkeeng net from Matt Johnson who did a doubletake from the high slot, couldn’t find an angle, and on the third pump passed to Bergman, anchored just off the left post, and made it 2-0 Thistles on the powerplay.
Johnson, who was on the club’s most productive line with his brother John and Hughes that combined for eight of the Thistles’ 18 goals on the weekend, said he was expecting more out of the Braves
“That was definitely a change in pace,” he said. “We were expecting some tougher competition, but kudos to them, they came down anyways, and it’s good to finally get some games in.
“There will be tougher tests to come.”

Sagkeeng’s Trevor Stevens made it a 2-1 hockey game one minute and five seconds later and Kenora’s Johnson made it 3-1 on a shorthanded marker less than six minutes into the game.
And while Sagkeeng’s George Canard brought the Braves back within a goal with under five minutes remaining in the first period, that’s where the Sagkeeng scoring charge would end as the Thistles scored six unanswered goals -- including markers from Jeff Bowen, Arlo Sobiski, John Johnson, Jamie Minor and two from Hughes through the next two periods to end it 9-2.
Sunday’s tilt was moderately closer, at least for the first 20 minutes.
John Johnson put the Thistles on the board first, less than six minutes in, and Sagkeeng’s Danny Courchene answered back to make it 1-1.
But Kenora was a different club in the middle stanza, taking over the momentum completely after Hughes’ third and fourth of the weekend, just over five minutes apart. The goals gave the Thistles a 3-1 lead that they never looked back from.
Bowen had a shorthanded marker at 8:22 to make it 4-1.
In the third period, it was all Thistles, as Minor made it 5-1 less than a minute into the closing period and Linden Penner made it 6-1 nearly four minutes later.
Minor marked his second of the game nearing the midway point of the third with a backhander from behind the net and Bergman scored his second of the weekend, making it 8-1 at the 7:31 mark.
Don Osborne scored the Thistles’ ninth goal and Bowen ended the Thistle tirade with under two minutes remaining to close it up at 10-1.
The Thistles are back in action Nov. 24.

Senior Thistles look to build on unbeaten streak
When Kenora’s AAA Senior Thistles lock horns with Beausejour Saturday and Sunday, they’re up against a much tougher opponent than Sagkeeng who they trounced in their late October season opening tilts

By Neil MacKinnon
Miner and News
Thursday November 22, 2007

It’s not going to be like last time.
It’s not going to be another Sunday skate.
When Kenora’s AAA Senior Thistles lock horns with Beausejour Saturday and Sunday, they’re up against a much tougher opponent than Sagkeeng who they trounced in their late October season opening tilts by a combined score of 19-3.
Nope, this weekend promises to be the first real test for the Thistles.
Beausejour is 6-0 so far this season and hopes are high of putting an end to their winning ways, said Kenora forward Jamie Minor.
“We’ve heard they’ve put together a pretty good team this year,” Minor said. “But I think we’re prepared. It’s definitely going to be a much tougher series but we’re ready.”

While the Thistles initially thought goal scoring was going to be their weak point this season, their two matches against Sagkeeng put that notion to rest.
“We were surprised how easy it came,” said Minor. “We put up some pretty big numbers that first weekend and I, personally, was surprised. We all thought that (goal scoring) would be a bit of an issue. Apparently not.”
And while Kenora scored at least four goals on the powerplay and two shorthanded against Sagkeeng, their focus has remained on special teams heading into this weekend’s games.
“We’ve been doing a lot of work on our powerplay and penalty kill,” said the club’s head coach Bryan Booth. “It’s such an important aspect of a game and we’ve felt we needed to keep making it stronger.”
It won’t hurt the club, either, that defenceman Aaron Kakapetum will be back in the Thistles lineup this weekend and they’re expecting Curt Bowen to make his first appearance with the club Saturday.
“We’re excited about that,” said Booth. “He should make our team immensely better right away.”
Bowen, who currently resides in Minneapolis, was drafted 22nd overall in 1992 by the Detroit Red Wings and spent the last seven seasons in Europe playing in Belfast, Nottingham and Manchester.
The Thistles square up with Beausejour Saturday afternoon with a 3:20 p.m. puck drop.
They meet again Sunday at 12:20 p.m.
Advance tickets are available at the Kenora Recreation Centre.

Thistles ravage undefeated Beavers in weekend series
What was supposed to be first real test of season was not

By Neil MacKinnon
Miner and News
Monday November 26, 2007

It was supposed to be their first real test of the season.
Instead, it turned out to be another complete massacre as Kenora’s Senior AAA Thistles improved to 4-0 on the year with an 11-2 victory over Beausejour’s Beavers Saturday and followed up with a 9-4 win Sunday.
“We were really quite surprised,” said Thistles bench boss Bryan Booth. “We figured Beausejour would have a stronger club, they were 6-0 coming into this weekend. But our lines all just clicked and we had strong point production from basically everyone.”
Saturday, John Johnson got the Thistles ball rolling just three minutes and 17 seconds into the match on the powerplay.
The Thistles scored two more in the period while Beasejour found their touch around the net at the midway point of the period on a goal from Jordy Black for a 3-1 lead heading into the second period.
In the middle stanza, though, the Thistles widened the gap on an otherwise close game and led 9-1 heading into the third.
Sean Hughes had five golas and an assist Saturday and even when he wasn’t trying to score, the puck found the back of the net.
On his fifth of the afternoon, Hughes just tried to dump the puck in on net from the high slot only to send it top shelf.

He flung his head back in disbelief and the Thistles went on to claim an 11-2 win. Will Cox was solid in net for the victory.
“We got up early and they seemed to quit a bit,” Hughes said. “I don’t think they liked the hitting very much either. I just had one of those days.
“I don’t get them very often, so it was good. That last goal hit a leg, hit a post and went in, I sort of fanned on it, so I was a bit surprised it went in.
“We expected more out of them.”
Sunday was a closer affair, if only marginally as three minutes and 51 seconds in Ryan Reynard scored his third of the weekend, Jamie Minor followed up with a natural hat trick and with goals from Johnson and Ryan Lentz, it was 6-0 after 20 minutes.
The Thistles let off the gas for the final 40 minutes, but still pulled out a 9-4 win with relative ease.
Lentz, in his first weekend back with the club after sitting out their opening two games against Sagkeeng with a knee injury, had a goal and three assists Sunday.
“It feels really good to be back,” Lentz said. “The leg’s feeling good, it was a good day all around.
“I thought these guys would be a lot better than they were, but they can have a bad weekend too.
“We were moving the puck really well and we have three, four solid lines. Our defence played well and our goalies were solid all weekend. Everything seemed to click.”
Ryan Tempel picked up the win in net Sunday for the Thistles who have now beaten their opponents by a combined score of 39-9 over their four games.
Next up for the Thistles is another two-game homestand Dec. 15 and 16 against Selkirk.
Game time on Dec. 15 is 4 p.m.
Dec. 16 the puck drops at 11 a.m.  
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