Trace Norwell gives Twin City Thunder a win over New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs

·4 min read

Oct. 17—AUBURN — Twin City Thunder forward Trace Norwell said he closed his eyes and shot the puck.

The puck did the rest by finding the back of the net to give the Twin City Thunder a 4-3 overtime win against the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs in a USPHL National Collegiate Development Conference game at Norway Savings Bank Arena on Saturday night.

"Our defenseman made a great job driving wide and (Tristan Rand) drove the net; I just found the soft area," Norwell said. "They did all the hard work, and I just got a good shot off."

The Thunder had to come back twice from two-goal deficits in the game.

"We were struggling in the first, no-energy; we were kind of struggling to find our game," Norwell said. "We had a good showing by a couple of guys in the second period that really got our team going and tried to build off that."

The Thunder (4-4-1, 9 points) entered the third period down 2-1 but quickly found themselves behind by two goals for the second time on the night on a goal from New Hampshire's Alex Laracy early in the frame.

"You jump up by two (goals), and you take a late penalty, you keep putting it out there for them to take it," Monarchs coach Clint Edinger said.

The Thunder got back in the game when patience paid off for 17-year-old forward Artem Kazakov. His linemates crashed Monarchs goalie Mitch Day's ( 33 saves) crease. The Thunder couldn't get the first two opportunities to go, and the puck bounced out to Kazakov, who settled the puck down to get a clean shot off to beat Day.

"(Artem) is a special player," Thunder coach Dan Hodge said. "He's a really nice talent, and patience is the word there, going across the whole net, being able to carry the puck across. I am yelling, 'Shoot, shoot, shoot,' but he knew what he was doing to find the back of the net."

Defenseman Ryan Hintz had the assist.

Hintz then tied the game at 3-3 on the power play when the puck came loose in the slot, and he ripped it past Day with a little over five minutes remaining in the game.

Tristan Rand and Kazakov had the assists.

"We got ourselves in a little bit of penalty trouble, and when you have to kill (penalties off), you keep relying on (the same guys), it gives the other team momentum," Edinger said.

Jake McAlpine was in the right place at the right time to give the Monarchs (3-3-3, 9 points) a 1-0 lead early in the first period. Thunder goalie Dane Couture couldn't swallow up a Will Cohen shot, and the puck fell off Couture to the top of the crease, where McAlpine swatted it into the goal.

In the final minute of the first period, Twin City's Matus Hudusovsky was called for tripping. The Monarchs' power play went to work right off the faceoff as Tanner Hartman found Aidan Curran for a 2-0 lead.

Hodge pulled Couture (nine saves) after the first period for Nick Bernstein (eight saves).

"We started off slow, down 2-0, and we made the goalie change, and that sparked our guys a little bit," Hodge said. "We weren't moving. We were kind of sleep-walking and we were trying to get something going. Fortunately for us, it worked."

The Thunder had its first power play of the game early in the second period but couldn't convert. Twin City started to generate more offensive chances as the period went on.

The hard work finally paid off with a little over five minutes remaining in the second. American International commit Matus Hadusovsky skated down the right-side boards and made a cross-ice pass to a streaking Jack Saavedra, who fired the puck home to get the Thunder on the board.

"We got better and better (as the second period) went along," Hodge said. "We got the shot advantage, and we set the goal to get 19-20 shots in the third, and the 19th shot won it for us."

Twin City's Tyler Healey had a partial breakaway a few minutes later but couldn't get a clean shot off.

The Thunder had a few chances in the second period's final minute but couldn't tie the game.

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