Looking to lock up a playoff position, the Twin City Thunder picked up a key victory Friday night at Norway Savings Bank Arena as they defeated the number one team in the New England division, the Northern Cyclones, 5-4.

It was the fifth loss for the Cyclones on the season.

“The two points were huge,” Thunder coach Doug Friedman said. “Again we are trying to distance ourselves against the (Junior) Bruins. Obviously we can’t control what they do, but we can control ourselves. To get those two points to start the weekend off was very big.”

Jeromey Rancourt helped the Thunder to the comeback victory with two goals and two assists.

Zack Olen gave the Cyclones a 1-0 lead at the 4:49 mark of the opening frame.

The Thunder’s power play got going in the second half of the first period as Jeromey Rancourt scored with 7:46 remaining in the first period. Etienne Crousle had the assist.

Olen gave the Cyclones the 2-1 lead on the man advantage with 30 seconds remaining in the opening period. The assist went to Mischa Subotin.

Olen continued the hot hand early in the second period as he completed the hat track 2:52 into the period.

“We told our guys to keep pounding away,” Friedman said of being down 3-1. “We feel we have good speed that we weren’t ultizing and getting pucks to the net. Overall we needed to make some simpler plays. We started to do that and I think the guys got rewarded for it.”

Rancourt added his second power play goal with 6:06 remaining in the middle frame with fellow Lewiston grad Cody Doyon picking up the primary assist while Derric Trudeau had the secondary assist.

With 16 seconds remaining in the middle frame, Zachary Desmarais potted his 21 goal of the season. Rancourt and Crousle had the assists.

Phillip Vanderlaat put the Cyclones back on top early in the third period for a 4-3 lead.

The Thunder once again answered back as Zachary Simpson found the back of the cage at the 3:07 mark of the third period to tie the game up at four. Exactly eight minutes later, Bobby Gervasi gave the Thunder its first lead of the game. Rancourt recorded his fourth point of the game.

“It’s great for Simpson to get on the score sheet, he’s a big body,” Friedman said. “He got to the front of the net and made a great play. Gervasi had the game winning goal off a nice rush from Rancourt. That’s a big thing, we talk about our special teams a lot, but the other piece of that is we can’t have the same guys leading the way scoring. We need contributions from everybody and that was nice to see tonight.”

The Thunder battle the Cyclones again Saturday at Norway Savings Bank Arena at 6 p.m.

Stars 2, Nordiques 0

For the first time all season, the L/A Nordiques suffered a loss at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee as the New England Stars defeated them Friday evening, 2-0.

The previous three losses on the season came on the road, one to the Northeast Generals in October while losing two at the NA3HL Showcase right before Christmas time.

Stars goaltender Matthew Marini made 37 saves on the evening for his first shutout of the season.

“The goaltender played well, he had a couple of key saves for them down the stretch,” “Nordiques coach Cam Robichaud said. “We had a goal disallowed late, kicking motion that I wasn’t really happy with the call, but at the end of the day, we would have only had one and they would have had two. I am not going to cry over that.”

Robichaud said the team lost momentum after Armand O’Keefe suffered a cut above his eye after an awkward hit with the Stars’ Connor Barter in the second period. They called for the stretcher for precautionary reasons, but Robichaud believe he just has a deep cut and probably a concussion.

James Wilson put the Stars up 1-0 just 27 seconds into the third period. Zachary Burham padded the lead to 2-0 at the 8:19 mark of the second period on the man advantage with Colin Hughes picking up the lone assist.

“I think the Stars executed their game plan better than we executed our game plan,” Robichaud said. “Even though we may have had more shots and carried the momentum (for most of the game). They were looking to be physical grind us out, get pucks deep and keep pushing puck to the wall instead up the middle. They took away our time and space and not giving up grade-A opportunities.”

Daniel Miller made 16 saves for the Nordiques.

The teams face off tomorrow at 3:50 p.m in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts.

“I am glad we have a second chance with them tomorrow because if it were the playoff right now, we would have to win the next two,” Robichaud said. “This is perfect. We talked about it before the game that this is a playoff type of game. We need to battle for two games here.”

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