The Twin City Thunder will make their National Collegiate Development Conference debut in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, early next month.

The Thunder will travel to face the Boston Bandits on Sunday, Sept. 6, their first of five season-opening games away from Norway Savings Bank Arena before their home opener against the South Shore Kings on Sept. 28 at 7 p.m.

“I like being on the road to start because we would have been at home for a little bit for our training camp,” Thunder NCDC coach Doug Friedman said. “Having the ability being on the road, between the bus trips, being in hotels, it’s good quality time together for guys continue to bond.”

Twin City’s 50-game USPHL schedule features 19 home games at Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn, 19 away games and 12 neutral-site showcase games. All home games will take place Friday and Saturday evenings or Sundays at 4 p.m.

The Thunder’s longest home stand is eight games, from Feb. 15-March 8 at the end of the season. They also have an eight-game road trip from Oct. 26-Nov. 16.

“We will put in our time in on the road early on and get that home ice advantage hopefully while we are either working to distance ourselves in the playoff race or be battling for a playoff spot,” Friedman said. “I think that’s nice, we would much rather have it that way and get most of our road trips hopefully in before the snow flies, as well.”

There are five weekends that both of Auburn-Lewiston’s Tier II teams, the Thunder and the Maine Nordiques of the NAHL, play at home.

Twin City had no say with the USPHL on those conflicts, but Friedman wishes the schedules worked out better for both teams and for hockey fans in the area.

“Unfortunately, our leagues don’t have much communication with that,” Friedman said. “I’m assuming they go about their business, what’s best for each league. I wish — in a perfect world, I would be on the phone with the Nordiques and we would be setting up our own schedules that would benefit both teams.”

The Thunder are only scheduled play twice at home on Sundays during the NFL regular season. On Oct. 6, they host the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs, while the New England Patriots face the Washington Redskins that same day at 1 p.m. The only time the Thunder go against the Patriots head-to-head is Nov. 24 when the Thunder host the Utica Jr. Comets, and the Patriots host the Dallas Cowboys at 4:25 p.m.

The Thunder also have home games during the NFL Divisional weekend on Saturday, Jan. 11, and Sunday, Jan. 12. They host the P.A.L. Junior Islanders on Sunday, Jan. 19 at 4 p.m., with the AFC Championship game slated at 3 p.m.

The Thunder decided 4 p.m. on Sunday to avoid conflicts with the L/A Gladiators youth teams, which usually play Sunday mornings or early afternoons.

TRAINING CAMP OPENS THIS WEEKEND

Fans are invited to get a look at the 2019-20 Twin City Thunder when they open training camp this weekend. The organization will have roughly 90 players when camp starts Friday at Norway Savings Bank Arena, with the first practice at 10:40 a.m. and the last of the day at 1:30 p.m.

The first scrimmage games is at 4 p.m. between the white team and the green team. At 5:30 p.m., the gray team takes on the black team, and at 7 p.m. the white team takes on the blue team.

Saturday’s games will begin with green vs. blue at 8:30 a.m., followed by gray vs. black at 9:40 a.m., and white vs. blue at 10:50 a.m.

The evening session begins at 4:30 p.m. with the black team facing the green team. The gray team takes on the white team at 6 p.m. and then the blue team and the black team square off at 7:30 p.m.

The camp will end Sunday with an all-star game at 11:30 a.m.

All practices and scrimmages are free and open to the public.


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