This week, the Thursday Thunder Player of the Week is 19-year-old Joel Taniguchi.

A rookie on the team who just recently signed with the Thunder to play full-time for them is from Airdrie and grew up playing hockey in the minor league system since he was eight years old.

This past weekend the Thunder played two games, one Friday night (November 17) against High River but sadly lost 4-1. Saturday (November 18) night's game was a completely different story as they beat Ponoka 12 - 1.

In two games played with the Thunder, Taniguchi has two goals and two assists all in the game against Ponoka.

"He brought a 'get in their face' mentality and added two goals and two assists on the weekend. Tani is a great addition to our roster," stated Thunder General Manager Shaun Guest.

Taniguchi is excited to be playing with the Thunder for the rest of the season.

"Feels good, the guys are great to be around. I hope we can excel from here and get some more wins."

When it comes to how he plays, Taniguchi stated it's all about effort.

"I want to work hard every game and every shift. Just continue to play my hardest out there."

The Thunder will look to make it two wins in a row over Ponoka when they face the Stampeders on Friday night at the Ron Ebbesen Arena.  The puck will drop at 8:30 pm. 

Currently working in the construction industry, Taniguchi plans on attending post-secondary while also playing for the Thunder next year.

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