Twin City Thunder goalie Jaxon Friedman collides with Jr. Bruins forward Steven Irick during Friday night’s game at Norway Savings Bank Arena. (RAM SPORT)

AUBURN — Tristan Mock showed why the Twin City Thunder acquired him earlier in the week from the Richmond Generals.

The 19-year-old, 5-foot-9 forward scored a natural hat trick — all on power plays — and added an assist as the Thunder defeated the Boston Junior Bruins 6-1 at the Norway Savings Bank Arena on Friday.

“My linemates were giving me good pucks, and I was getting the opportunities on the ice and I was getting some big-time minutes,” Mock said. “I was playing with people who were feeding me and everything was going right for me tonight. Sometimes you have those game,s and it was a good night for me, I guess.”

Mock now has 14 goals and 11 assists in 29 USPHL games this season.

It was a big victory for the Thunder as they try to separate themselves from the Bruins for the sixth and final playoff spot in the New England division.

“Obviously, it’s a huge win, they are one spot behind us,” Thunder goalie Jaxon Friedman said. “We only had a five-point lead, and making it seven — stretching out the gap it really helps with the confidence going into tomorrow.”

The Thunder have two games in hand with eight to play, while Bruins only have six games remaining. The teams finish out their home-and-home series Saturday at 5:40 p.m. in Marlborough, Massachusetts.

Friedman made 28 saves for the victory

In the first period, the Thunder did their work on the power play. Mock potted his first of the game with 6:26 remaining in the period. He scored his second goal of the game with nine seconds remaining on the man advantage, and with 2:02 remaining in the period.

Both goals were set up by Alex Schneider.

“The power play was a big boost for us,” Thunder head coach Doug Friedman said. “We have been focusing on that a lot because the last couple of games it hadn’t been working for us. Our special teams overall have been either in neutral or negative. Tonight, with the three power plays goals and a short-handed goal, that’s a nice boost for the practice we put into it.”

The Thunder were 3-for-5 with the man advantage, while Junior Bruins were scoreless on six chances.

Mock completed the natural hat trick 44 seconds into the second period. He slipped behind the defenders, skated behind the net into Gretzky’s office. Bruins keeper Greg Iverson was looking to his left while Mock slipped the puck in with a backhander to Iverson’s right. Nicolas Garneau had the assist.

“(Garneau) found me, and I seemed to slip away and I got that wrap-around tuck-in,” Mock said.

The Bruins finally got on the board when Trevor Lawler picked up the loose puck in the crease after Jaxon Friedman couldn’t swallow up Brandon Cope’s initial shot. All Lawler had to do was push the puck into the open net at the 6:35 mark.

The only thing Mock did wrong in the game was take a slashing call 13 seconds into a power play. His teammates picked him up, though, in 4-on-4 play as Jeromey Rancourt and Derric Trudeau each scored in a six-second span to put the Thunder up 5-1.

“If you ask Tristan, that’s a penalty he can’t take and it cost the team, especially on the power play,” Doug Friedman said. “I don’t foresee him doing that again.”

Rancourt’s goal ended Iverson’s night in goal (24 saves). He was replaced by Justus Kujala, who stopped 12 shots in relief.

Rancout added a short-handed goal with 4:01 remaining in the game, as Mock sprung him loose on the breakaway with a pass through the neutral zone.

Derric Trudeau, middle, of the Twin City Thunder fights for position with Jr. Bruins defenseman Zach Pendenza in Friday night’s game at Norway Savings Bank Arena. (RAM SPORT)


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