By SCOTT FISHER
The Airdrie Techmation Thunder took care of business on home ice.
The Thunder sprinted out to a 6-0 lead and then cruised to a 7-4 victory over the Red Deer Vipers in Game 4 of the Heritage Junior Hockey League's North Division final.
Dante Raposo led all scorers with a pair of goals and four points as Airdrie evened the best-of-seven affair at two games apiece.
“Dante looked really good,” said Thunder head coach Derek Stamp. “And our powerplay was solid early on.
“It was a result of those guys - Dante, Zach (Giroux), and Jason Wenzel on the point - moving the puck well.”
Game 5 goes Wednesday in Red Deer with Game 6 back at the Ron Ebbesen Arena on Friday (8 p.m.).
Stamp said his squad is aware it will need to win a road game at some point in this series.
“They say you don't get worried until you lose on home ice,” Stamp said. “So far, so good and we'll go to Red Deer on Wednesday and see if we can take on there.”
Defenceman Jack MacCready got the party started before Raposo sniped his first of the evening to make it two-zip after the opening period.
The Thunder seized complete control with four goals in the opening half of the middle frame.
Giroux potted a pair, Raposo added his second and Matt Thomson also lit the lamp as the hosts threatened to turn Game 4 into a blowout.
“A win is a win,” Raposo said. “Especially in the playoffs, you can't complain. The win is all that really matters at this point.
“We love playing in front of (the home fans).”
At the other end, goaltender Ryan Simpson made a number of ridiculous stops to keep the Vipers off the board heading into the third period.
A penalty parade saw both teams handed a pair of two-man advantages in the third.
Vipers forward Logan Linnell scored a natural hat-trick, including twice on the powerplay, in a span of 3:54 and the desperate visitors launched 29 shots on net in the period.
But Brett Campbell rounded out the scoring to secure the win.
The Thunder finished 4-for-9 on the powerplay while the Vipers converted on two of seven opportunities.