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The side was beaten 7-4 by the Canterbury Red Devils in Christchurch in its opening game of the delayed national league season on Saturday.
Penalties hampered the side which racked up 68 penalty minutes.
It fought well through that and scored three of its four goals short-handed.
However, it was unable to pull back once the Red Devils took the lead.
Joe Orr and Bradley Apps both scored to leave it at 1-1 at the end of the first period.
But quick goals to Apps and Liam Dallimore just after the break gave the home side the advantage.
Both were well set up, the first by Petr Pospisil making a classy breakaway to put Apps in.
Paris Heyd showed a piece of class as he took the puck off Apps and scored from that to hit back with the Thunder’s second short-handed goal of the match.
But less than a minute later, Nik Stefanssin restored the gap at 4-2.
Heyd added another short-handed goal late in the period, before a Pospisil scored a controversial goal on the final play of the period to make it 5-3.
Apps added his third after the break and while Matt Enright pulled one back, Robert Banks scored late to keep the final margin at three goals.
Last night the Thunder bounced back with a 7-5 win over the Red Devils in the second match of the double-header.