Then-Boston Bruins goalie Hannu Toivonen of Finland, left, drops his stick to the ice to make a save on a shot by Pittsburgh Penguins center Dominic Moore during an NHL game in Boston in Jan. 20007. (AP file photo)

Twin City Thunder goaltenders Jaxon Friedman, Derek Fournier and Tanner Ames were joined by a fourth netminder when they hit the ice for practice last Tuesday in Auburn.

He has some bona fides, but the Thunder goalies’ jobs are safe thanks to junior hockey’s 20-year-old age limit. That goaltender was former Boston Bruins and current Maine Mariners goalie Hannu Toivonen.

How did the Bruins first round pick in 2002 make the half an hour trip up to Auburn?

“I’ve known Hannu for quite awhile,” Thunder coach Doug Friedman said. “Knowing he’s back in Portland now, I just reached out and asked if he wanted to skate with the guys. He’s a really good guy. Even though he’s still playing professionally with a really successful and long career, he wants to be able to give back.

“He just jumped on the opportunity to come work with our guys. I think it was mutually beneficial. Our guys really loved it. It’s great to have somebody of his expertise in there and give some guys some pointers.”


Toivonen and Friedman know each other through a mutual friend.

Toivonen has a 2-3 record with a 3.73 goals against average and a .893 save percentage in five games with the Mariners after starting the season in Finland, his home country, and the Czech Republic.

After spending 2003-2005 with the Providence Bruins, Toivonen made his Boston Bruins debut during the 2005-2006 season and stayed with the organization until being traded in July of 2007 to the St. Louis Blues for Carl Soderberg. He also spent time with the Chicago Blackhawks organization. Since the 2011-12 season he has bounced around Europe, the AHL and the ECHL.

Nordiques getting message

In Wednesday’s 11-4 win against the Wild, the L/A Nordiques kept their emotions in check and didn’t have any penalties in the third period. They only had four penalties in the entire game.

Coach Cam Robichaud has talked often to the team about limiting penalties when the game is well in hand.


“It’s something I am really trying to harp on the guys,” Robichaud said. “All season I’ve been talking about it. When a team is down in the dumps, you don’t need to let them know — they know. Be bigger than that, be a better character guy than that. Kind of walk softly, continue to score goals and play hard and be a top team in the division. You don’t need to tell everyone with your mouth that you are a top team and you are better, chirp, take undisciplined and unnecessary penalties.”

This season the Nordiques are averaging 19.71 penalty minutes a game. They have nine major penalties, which is sixth-most in the league. They have the fourth-most match penalties in the league with 16. They also have five game misconducts and three 10-minute misconducts this season.

Light schedule good for L/A

From Jan. 16-30, they Nordiques only play three games, all against the Maine Wild.

Robichaud relishes the lack of games in the second half of the month.

“I don’t mind it because, one, it allows us to get some rest during a time where we had the flu going through the team,” Robichaud said. “It allows us to work on some stuff in practice, prepare for the stretch we have coming up with two games with the (Northeast) Generals (Feb. 2-3) and two games against the (New England) Stars (Feb. 8-9). Those are going to be intense games.”


Thunder to make up the game against South Shore on Tuesday

The Thunder’s game against the South Shore Kings that was postponed on Saturday, Jan. 19, will be made up Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Norway Savings Bank Arena.

It will be the third of four meetings this season between the two teams.

It also is the middle game of a three-game homestand. The Thunder lost to the Islanders Hockey Club this past Saturday and cap off the homestand Friday against the Boston Junior Bruins.

Colisee up for KrHockeyville

The Androscoggin Bank Colisee is up for nomination for the NHL’s “Kraft Hockeyville,” a contest for arenas across the country to receive $150,00 in arena upgrades and host a NHL preseason game next season.

Fans can post photos, videos and stories about the Colisee on its “community rally page.”

Nominations close March 2 and four finalists will be announced March 24. Voting for the top four will begin March 30 and close on March 31 at 11 a.m., with the winner being announced later that night.

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