Thunder after strong finish versus Swarm

It has been a frustrating season, but the Dunedin Thunder is after a strong finish.

The side snapped an eight-game losing streak last week and is looking to build on that tonight.

Auckland's Botany Swarm awaits at the Dunedin Ice Stadium for its final two matches of the season.

Tonight's game begins at 6.50pm, while tomorrow's starts at 5.50pm.

The Swarm has been the league's surprise package this season and has locked in second spot.

While the playoffs are now out of reach, a pair of a positive results against the Swarm would be a good finish.

Thunder captain Paris Heyd admitted it had been a frustrating season.

While the team had started well, it had come up against obstacles which had hindered its progress.

"I guess it's just been a series of events; a lot of it's been outside our control," he said.

"Injuries and a couple of imports had to go home early.

"That kind of hurts the team, especially with the team we've got. It's a young team and we don't have a lot of depth at the moment. Every player you lose hurts.

"We've had three or four go out with injury, so you've just got to fill the gap.

"The young kids have been playing really well.

"It's promising for the years to come. They're getting a bit of experience where they might not have had the chance if everyone was healthy.

"So we'll take the positives out of it."

He said adapting to the speed was a big thing for younger players, as was losing the intimidation factor of playing against men.

That would benefit the team in future.

While the team was expecting a tough challenge from the Swarm, Heyd said the Thunder hoped to put out two good performances to finish.

"Coming down here we enjoy playing at home, bigger ice and we've got the home crowd, as well, so it should be a good game."

The Stampede will travel to Auckland to face the West Auckland Admirals in its last game of the regular season.

The Queenstown-based side has already clinched top spot and a direct route to the final, having lost just one match all year.


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