Derek Founier makes a save during tryouts for the Twin City Thunder. The Thunder have signed Fournier, who played at Bangor High School. (Submitted photo)
After having their first tryout session over the weekend, the Twin City Thunder have found their goaltender for the 2018-19 USPHL Premier season in Bangor’s Derek Fournier.
Fournier was one of the best goaltenders in Maine high school hockey from 2015-17 at Bangor High School. He was a Travis Roy finalist in 2017, which was awarded to his Twin City teammate, Jeromey Rancourt, who was the first official signee of the Thunder last month.
The 6-foot-2 netminder spent the 2017-18 season with the Fox Motors U18 major midget team based out of Bryon Center, Michigan, where he had a 6-6-3 record in Tier I Elite League play with a 2.01 goals-against average and .925 save percentage. Fox Motors also played in the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association, but stats in MAHA play weren’t available.
Rancourt also spent this past season playing for Fox Motors.
“When we sat down quite a while ago and were talking about goalies, he was certainly one of the names that came up,” Thunder head coach Doug Friedman said. “We are fortunate to have him under contract for our program. Like I said, he’s experienced and has played high level of competition.”
Fournier also was called up for six games with the Topeka Roadrunners of the North American Hockey League, USA Hockey’s lone Tier II junior hockey league this past season, where he was 0-4-0 with a 5.09 goals against average and a .848 save percentage.
Friedman said the experience at that level will help Fournier at the Tier III junior level.
“We just talked about the level of play of the North American league and his experience from high level midgets to that (level),” Friedman said. “Really, the conversation was about as you get up now, the levels of play that’s available up to college, it’s a step up. It’s one of those, it was good experience for him, it took him a little while to adjust, but he got to spend some time there practicing with the team. He learned a lot and raised his level of play.”
The Quebec Junior Hockey League took notice of Fournier’s talents, as the Saint John Sea Dogs took him in the 13th round of the 2016 Entry Draft. He took part in their training camp in 2016. He was also selected by the L/A Fighting Spirit, now known as the L/A Nordiques, in the 2016 NA3HL draft.
Friedman said there was a good turnout at this past weekend’s tryout camp, but said it was the first step to building the full roster.
“There will be some additional announcements coming up here to kids who signed at camp,” Friedman said. “I think we were pleasantly surprised with some of the kids that came out, and it’s a good step for us to move forward to the tournament showcase season this summer and the USPHL Summer Showcase which will be in July. It was a springboard getting us into the summertime signing season.”
Bangor goalie Derek Fournier denies Lewiston’s Kyle Morin’s attempt at a wrap around goal during a boys’ hockey game in Lewiston in January 2016. (Sun Journal file photo)
New Twin City Thunder signee Derek Fournier at Norway Savings Bank Arena. Fournier was a standout goalie at Bangor High School. (Submitted photo)