Zach Desmarais of Team White battles Carl Froblom of Team Green in a faceoff at Sunday’s Twin City Thunder main camp all-star game at Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn. Team Green won 5-3. RAM Sport Photography

AUBURN — Tough decisions are ahead for the Twin City Thunder coaching staff as it looks to get to 30 players for the National Collegiate Development Conference team’s training camp that starts on Aug. 26.

Ninety players took part in the main camp that was held at Norway Savings Bank Arena this past weekend. The roster shrunk from 90 to 47 for Sunday’s all-star game, which saw Team Green defeat Team White 5-3.

“We saw 90 kids, that’s a lot of kids to weed through, but some real surprises and some players that we are really interested in,” Twin City Thunder owner and director of hockey operations Dan Hodge said.

Two players that really made a name for themselves at this camp, according to the coaching staff, were forward Noah Furman, who played last season with the East Coast Wizards of the Eastern Hockey League, where he had 13 goals and 12 assists. The other was goalie Alexander Kozac, who played at Shattuck St. Mary’s, the famed prep school in Fairbault, Minnesota that has produced NHL players like Sidney Crosby, Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Toews.

“I thought the Kozac goalie really solidified a spot for himself,” Hodge said. “He really played hard and we really liked that. He earned some great accolades. I thought there was some really good surprises, there really were. I knew some of the kids, but I didn’t know a lot of the kids. I thought the Furman kid played really well this weekend and he made things happen on the ice.”

Now the coaching staff will continue to trim the roster down to 30 for training camp, then the team needs to get to 23 players for the start of the season.

“You want kids to come in and make decisions harder,” Hodge said. “You want to see kids that weren’t on anybody’s radar come in here and earned his spot. The surprises is the nice thing about it. Again, it’s hard to tell kids they aren’t going to be here, but it’s nice to tell a kid who didn’t expect to be here, that he’s going to be here.”

TRUDEAU JOINS THE THUNDER ORGANIZATION AS A COACH

Derric Trudeau, the captain on last season’s Twin City Thunder team, has hung up the skates for a whistle as he will be an assistant coach of the organization’s Twin City Lightning 18U midget team.

The 21-year-old from Rockland, Massachusetts had college options after scoring 18 goals and 18 assists in 43 games with the Thunder in his final junior season a year ago, but decided to forgo a college career after battling some lingering injuries.

His playing career got him where he wanted.

“It’s a tough decision at the end of the day, everybody dreads it, but I love being back in it,” Trudeau said. “I have been coaching younger guys the past five years. I have (a lot of private lessons). I have always wanted to coach. I’ve played to coach.”

The opportunity came up when he reached out to Lightning head coach Matt LaVallee and Thunder owner Ben Gray to see if they needed any eyes this summer, when it came to attending showcases and scouting for the team.

He also came to the organization as he loves Maine and the lifestyle, as it’s different than Massachusetts.

MACDONALD HAS BEEN CAMPING

Gorham native Brogan MacDonald came to Thunder camp still looking for a spot next season after he took part in the Maine Nordiques main camp at the end of July.

“Unfortunately, the summer hasn’t gone as planned,” MacDonald said. “I am battling for a spot here.”

He thought he played well at the Nordiques camp and said he left on good terms with them. The Nordiques’ goalie coach, Brendan Sullivan, is his personal goalie coach.

The 19-year-old had an opportunity with the Utica Jr. Comets NCDC team that fell through.

As a goalie, he knows spots are always limited at his position, but he can only control what he can.

“I think I just (have to be) me,” MacDonald said. “If I can play my game, the way I control the puck, I have a good shot to show them what I can do and not try too much.”

McDonald spent the 2018-19 season with the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs 18U team and in 2017-18 he played with the Seacoast Spartans.

He didn’t make the all-star game Sunday but believes he will be able to find a place to play this season.

A GENERAL HOPING TO LEAVE A MARK WITH THE THUNDER

Carson Asper always seemed to leave his mark when the Northeast Generals played the L/A Nordiques last season.

The 19-year-old forward racked up 72 of his 233 penalty minutes in eight games against the Nordiques last season. A whopping 54 of those penalty minutes came in a contest at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Dec. 1 where he had two fighting majors, an elbowing major and two minor penalties. The majors resulted in game misconducts.

Two months later in his return to the Colisee he recorded a 10-minute misconduct.

“They were definitely yelling my name,” Asper said of the Nordiques fans this past season. “I don’t know if it was good or bad, it is what it is, they got to hate someone. I would rather them hate me than someone else.”

There’s more to Asper’s game than trips to the sin bin. In 36 games with the Generals he had 17 goals and 16 assists.

That’s what hopes can get a Tier II opportunity with the Thunder, as he made the all-star game Sunday morning.

“It’s going pretty well. Tons of hockey. The body, you have to keep it in shape,” Asper said. “But yeah, I am trying to focus on the skills and maybe not as much on the penalties.”

MAINE NORDIQUES OPEN TRAINING CAMP MONDAY

The Maine Nordiques of the North American Hockey League are back at the Colisee as 34 players are attending their training camp this week.

Unlike the main camp in July, where there were multiple games, this camp will be more of practices and skill development, as there will be two-a-days starting on Monday. There will be a scrimmage Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.

“Tuesday morning, each group will have an ice session and Tuesday at 3:30 those two groups will have a little scrimmage and then we will be making some cuts after that scrimmage to start trimming down,” Nordiques associate head coach Cam Robichaud said. “On Wednesday, the two groups become one group with still some cuts to be made that will take place on Saturday.”

There will be a few players attending this camp that weren’t at main camp, like Sergei Anisimov, who played for the L/A Nordiques and has been recovering from a shoulder injury. Cy LeClerc, a University of New Hampshire recruit, one of the few tendered or drafted players that didn’t attend main camp, probably won’t be at training camp.

Robichaud said they are still in talks with LeClerc, but he still has a year of high school remaining, which he’s trying to find that balance of school and hockey.

Anthony Bono dives for a loose puck from Sunday’s Twin City Thunder main camp all-star game at Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn. RAM Sport Photography

Jeromey Rancourt (46) looks on as Peyton Hughes falls to the ice during Sunday’s Twin City Thunder main camp all-star game at Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn. RAM Sport Photography


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