Derric Trudeau skates during the second day of Twin City Thunder training camp in Auburn on Tuesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

AUBURN — If the end of Tuesday afternoon practice was any indication, the Twin City Thunder won’t quit until the final whistle.

The team worked on battle drills, where there are two teams and there was a net on both sides of the the crease. It started one-on-one, where each player had to score on the opposition’s goalie. Once a player scored they would go battle the other player, if the other player hadn’t scored, and try to steal the puck and score a second time.

They also used the battle drill in 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 situations.

When there wasn’t a clear-cut winner, they went back to one-on-one and neither the black nor the white team wanted to give in. After going about ten minutes more than intended, in the “overtime” the white team finally won the battle.

“That’s the big part we are trying to preach and the culture we want to have here, you got to hate to lose, do whatever it takes to get a victory,” head coach Doug Friedman said. “The guys are working hard and we are pleased with their work ethic.”


Friedman said he used that drill because he knows players like to have competition attached to the drills.

The players took notice on who really wanted to battle.

“It was just really us going at it and really see who wants to compete and who really wants to put the puck into the net,” Thunder forward Derric Trudeau said. “We saw a lot of guys go out there try to put the puck through the net, and there are a couple of guys we need to work on to get to the net. It will come. It’s just the first two days, guys are going to be a little nervous, but it will go away next week.”

Trudeau, who is in his final year of junior hockey eligibility, describes himself as a gritty player who likes to get to the dirty areas on the ice. A former captain of the Northeast Generals of the NA3HL in 2016-17, Trudeau wanted a good program for his final junior hockey season.

“When I played against (the Nordiques) when I played for the Generals, it was a tough place to play,” Trudeau said. “Especially the way I play, which is a gritty grinder kind of guy, the fans didn’t like that coming at them every night. They got pretty rowdy when I was in the (penalty) box and stuff, it was fun. The biggest thing is definitely the (Thunder) staff. The staff is amazing and I know the fans are going to be amazing.”

He spent last season between Total Athletics Seahawks of the Eastern Hockey League and the New York Aviators of the USPHL’s Premier Division.


Jacob Dubay — who played for Orono-Old Town, which won the Class B state championship in March — just signed last week after mulling over options to play this season.

The first two days of practice he realized at this level players won’t be taking any shifts off.

“The competitiveness in everybody,” Dubay said. “You pay money to be here and everybody has a reason to be here. You are taking time off to go to college, their family and their girlfriends. I think everybody wants to move on to the next level.”

Dubay had 18 goals and 30 assists for Old Town-Orono in 2017-18. Friedman expects him to use his speed at the USPHL Premier level, but it could take some time for him to adjust to junior hockey coming out of high school.

After 48 hours together, players are finally getting to know each other.

“Everybody is new to the team, so everybody is trying to make a name for themselves right away, impress coach or your other teammates as well,” forward Jeromey Rancourt said. “All in all, guys are starting to talk more to one another and getting out of that shell being day two. People are a little bit more comfortable being here, moving into billet families and everything like that.”


Friedman is glad to have most of the team under one roof, and he no longer has to call, text or watch video on the players. The Thunder are using some players from the Maine Moose midget teams to scout for the future, but also to fill out the roster during the two-week training camp, as the Thunder roster isn’t totally set. Friedman said they still have a few defensemen and forward slots available, but are waiting for USHL and NAHL teams to finalize their rosters, as the Thunder are talking to a few players trying out at the Tier I and Tier II levels.

Nordiques-Wild battling for the Maine Cup

Pine Tree bragging rights will be on the line during the 2018-19 season with the inaugural Maine Cup. The L/A Nordiques Hockey Club and the Androscoggin Bank Colisee have announced “The Maine Cup,” a new promotion for the upcoming season. The Maine Cup, sponsored by Valley Distributors, will consist of a series of three Wednesday night games against the Maine Wild. The series will be a best-two-out-of-three games and the winner will be engraved on the Cup.

The games will be on Nov. 21 at 7 p.m., Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 23 at 7 p.m.

Lewiston High School graduate Jeromey Rancourt, right, talks with staff member Bill David during the second day of training camp in Auburn on Tuesday. Rancourt finished his high school career with a state championship and the Travis Roy award his senior year. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Ben Lane-Robichaud of Edward Little High School skates during the second day of Twin City Thunder training camp in Auburn on Tuesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Former Bangor High School goalie Derek Fournier was one of three goaltenders in the Twin City Thunder training camp on Tuesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Twin City Thunder head coach Doug Friedman runs the second day of training camp in Auburn on Tuesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

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