Twin City Thunder’s Derric Trudeau fires a shot on New Hampshire Junior Monarch goalie Justin Damon during the first period of Friday night’s game in Auburn at the Norway Savings Bank Arena. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

AUBURN — The New Hampshire Junior Monarchs entered their game against the Twin City Thunder having won four overtime games.

Friday night, they made it five.

Portland native Brent Rickett — a former Portland/Deering and North Yarmouth Academy standout — scored the game-winner 1:56 into the overtime period to give the Monarchs a 3-2 victory over the Thunder in front of 450 fans at the Norway Savings Bank Arena on Hockey Fights Cancer Night.

The game raised over $2,000 for the Foster family of Readfield.

Rickett’s goal came on the Monarch’s eighth power play of the game.

“It’s good to play at home, and have family and friends from both schools at the game and people from my neighborhood. It was good to get the win,” Rickett said. “… I would like to say I know where to shoot, but I was lucky on that one.”

Rickett said the team practices a lot of 4-on-3 power plays due to the amount of overtime games the Monarchs have had. Overtime in the USPHL is just like the same in the NHL, with the teams skating 3-on-3. But if there’s a power play, the team on the man-advantage gets the extra skater.

Thunder coach Doug Friedman said Rickett has been a thorn in his side the past couple years. He also faced Rickett when he was the coach of Kents Hill.

“I’ve seen him enough,” Friedman said with a chuckle. “I love the kid, but I’ve seen him enough because he does a good job putting the pucks behind the goalie.”

After their first power play of the game lasted only 10 seconds, the Thunder made their second power play count when Bailey Riddle snapped home the game’s opening goal from the top of the slot. The score came with 5:31 remaining in the opening period.

“They are really well-coached and they have players that are opportunistic,” Monarchs coach Matt Morrow said. “They capitalize off mistakes. Like I said, we are just lucky we were able to keep our composure when we were down by a goal and there was time for us to be able to come back and bring it into overtime.”

The Monarchs responded in the final two minutes. Kieran Gardner skated into the offensive zone, deked Thunder goaltender Jaxon Friedman and lifted a backhand shot top shelf with 1:54 remaining in the first period. The Monarchs’ leading point-scorer Zach Olen notched the lone helper on the goal.

Both teams went to the box multiple times in the second period. Jaxon Friedman was the Thunder’s most valuable player in the period, making seven saves — five of them coming in a two-minute stretch after David Martinek’s penalty ended with 7:17 remaining in the period.

Friedman made 25 saves in the losing effort. Monarchs goalie Justin Damon also turned aside 25 shots.

Jaxon Friedman was helped by the shot-blocking of his penalty-killers.

“Guys are doing good job staying in (shooting) lanes and they are playing the system we want on those penalty kills,” Doug Friedman said. “It really helps out (stopping) scoring chances.”

When the Monarchs had the Thunder on the ropes with back-to-back-to back penalties, New Hampshire shot itself in the foot 20 seconds into Martinek’s second penalty of the period by taking a penalty of its own.

The Thunder started the third period on the man-advantage because Monarchs centerman Patrick McCoy was called for delay of game with less than a second remaining in the second. Twin City fired five shots during that power play but couldn’t convert.

On the sixth man-advantage for the Thunder, Zachary Desmarais found the back of the net from the slot after he received a pass from Etienne Crousle.

Thunder carried the momentum and they appeared to make 3-1 as a shot hit the cross bar and bounced back into play. Play went on, but through roar of the crowd after another post hit — Twin City hit four on the night — one of the officials blew his whistle, signaling a goal. The Monarchs were irate, and McCoy picked up a 10-minute misconduct for arguing with the official.

The officials huddled up to discuss the potential goal and decided to wave it off.

New Hampshire responded quickly, scoring on their seventh power play of the night when Olen scored off the face-off. Jordan Hillman picked up the assist.

“I preach to the players that we play the percentages and we just try to keep making the smart play, and at some point we are going to try to convert,” Morrow said. “We were able to, and luckily there was enough time remaining for us to do that.”

New Hampshire Junior Monarch goalie Justin Damon makes a save off a shot by Twin City Thunder’s Alex Schneider during the first period of Friday night’s game at the Norway Savings Bank Arena. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Twin City Thunder’s Bobby Gervasi and New Hampshire Junior Monarch’s Sam Turner battle for a bouncing puck during Friday night’s game at the Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Twin City Thunder goalie Jaxon Friedman watches the puck bounce off his pad after making a save during the first period of Friday night’s hockey game at the Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)


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