The Kenora U18 AAA Thistles (2-25-1) couldn’t pick up their third win of the season as they were swept by the Parkland Rangers (16-9-3) over the weekend to finish off 2021.

On Saturday night the Thistles suffered a 9-5 loss to begin their two-game series against the Rangers.

In the first period, both teams traded chances, and big hits, while both goalies traded highlight-reel saves to keep the game scoreless.

Shots after the first period were 14-10 in favour of Kenora.

The second period was a different story as the Rangers offense woke up and exploded for three goals within the first ten minutes of the period.

Kenora’s Carson Maffey was able to put the Thistles on the board at the 10:45 mark of the period to make it 3-1. Reid Pitura and Branden Boress added assists.

Parkland would respond with two of their own to extend their lead to 5-1.

Branden Boress would score on the powerplay late in the period to keep the game close at 5-2. Jett Mintenko and Emerson Evans with the assists.

The Rangers yet again would have an answer scoring two more goals, and seven in the period to make it 7-2. The Thistles wouldn’t go away that easy as Landon Lowes would score his first U18 goal to make it 7-3 heading into the second intermission.

52 seconds into the third period the Rangers would add another one to extend their lead to 8-3.

Noah McPherson 1:32 into the period would also pick up his first U18 goal to give some life to Kenora’s bench.

Both teams would trade two goals apiece in the period to make the final 9-5 for Parkland.

Kaden King made 33 saves in the loss.

Moving into Sunday’s game the Thistles came out strong, but couldn’t take down the Rangers losing 7-3 to finish off 2021.

The first period had glimpses of Saturday night’s affair as both teams traded chances, but neither team couldn’t put one past the goalies, until late in the period when Kenora broke the deadlock.

Nickolas Fagnilli was able to find twine to give Kenora the 1-0 lead, and the momentum heading into the second period.

The second period was similar to the game the night before as Parkland exploded for six goals, four of them coming in the first two minutes of the period to take a commanding 4-1 lead early.

Nickolas Fagnilli would respond by scoring his 15th goal of the season to cut the Rangers lead in half and fire up the Thistles bench.

Parkland would respond with two goals of their own to make it 6-2 late in the second period.

Kenora wouldn’t go away as they cut the Rangers lead in half again off the stick of Branden Boress scoring with 1:30 left in the period.

In the third period, the Rangers would add one more to sweep the weekend series 7-3.

Kenora was heavily outshot 52-39 in the game while going 1 for 6 on the powerplay.

Now the Thistles are on a well-deserved, and well-needed Christmas break, and won’t be back on the ice until January 8 and 9, 2021 when they travel to Teulon, MB to battle the Interlake Lightning (6-20-1).

Their next pair of home games at the Kenora Rec Centre will be the following weekend when they host the Pembina Valley Hawks (10-12-4) on January 15 and 16, 2021.