Dubuque opens with 2 wins in Michigan
Shane Vorndran had six goals and an assist as the two-time defending Central States Hockey League Hurster Cup champion Dubuque Thunderbirds opened the season with two wins in Michigan.
Dubuque opened the season with a 5-4 win over the Flint Generals on Sept. 12, at Iceland Arena and the next night took a 4-1 decision from the Metro Jets at Lakeland Ice Arena.
In the opener Vorndran’s fourth goal of the game, with 2:55 left in the third period, broke a 4-4 tie and gave the Thunderbirds the win.
Brendan Kapella got Dubuque’s other goal and added an assist. Brett Bower assisted on all of Vorndran’s goals and Vincent Witt also had four helpers. Goaltender Andy Scheib made 37 saves.
Dante Delabbio had a goal and an assist for Flint.
Vorndran continued his torrid pace in Lakeland on Sept. 13 with two goals and an assist in a 4-1 win.
“They haven’t all been pretty goals,” Vorndran told the Telegraph Herald. “A lot of it is just working hard as a team, and me working hard in front of the net. Being in the right place at the right time.
“We were much better tonight than we were (Friday) night. We got the bus legs out of the way, and we were ready to go. We didn’t play the way we’re capable on Friday night.”
Bower also had two goals and an assist in the win and Hunter Brown added two assists.
All of Dubuque’s goals came on the power play.
Lapeer native and former Flint General Robert Tazadak stopped 19 of 20 shots in goal to get his first win for the Thunderbirds.
Fenton’s Ryan Eby got the Metro Jet’s only goal.
“You could tell the guys were so much more relaxed tonight,” Kastelic said. “We were too anxious (Friday) night. Everyone was trying to do too much.
“It’s still early, and a lot of guys are playing the first games of their Junior careers. We had a good talk after (Friday’s) game and again today. And you could tell guys were a lot more comfortable.”
Dubuque coach Joe Coombs noticed a huge difference between games.
“We did a lot of running around (Friday) night,” he said. “Tonight, we skated better, finished hits, communicated better . . . we were just better all the way around.”