The Twin City Thunder opened the Islanders Hockey Club showcase with a dominant performance against the South Shore Kings, notching a 5-1 victory at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts.

Five players scored for the Thunder and goalie Alaxander Kozic made 36 saves.

“We had a pretty solid effort overall,” Twin City coach Doug Friedman said. “It started in net with Kozic, who had a strong game and made some key saves early on for us. The big difference today was our special teams were going — both sides of it, on the power play and penalty kill.”

The Thunder were 3-for-4 on the power play in the first period, and 3-for-7 for the game.

Mathieu Lapierre started the scoring barrage in the first period with his third goal of the season six-plus minutes into the game.

Adam Sversson, who had an assist on Lapierre’s goal, notched his second assist when he set up Oliver Rooth’s goal with about four minutes remaining in the period. Christian Blomquist added his team-leading sixth goal of the season with 36 seconds left to make it 3-0 at the intermission.

“We have three main looks we are looking to do, but at the end of the day, it’s about guys getting pucks to the net and finding lanes,” Friedman said of the power play. “Early on in the year we were pretty static with our power play with a lack of movement, and as result we were getting a lot of shots blocked, we weren’t getting a lot of looks.

“Now, it’s sort of we are trying to make it a little more dynamic look on the power play. The guys are getting it and they are getting pucks to the net, which is key to scoring goals.”

In the second period, the Thunder were the ones on the penalty kill after Blomquist took a penalty following his goal that carried over into the second. After that penalty was killed, Lapierre went to the box, but Twin City also killed off that penalty.

Zachary Demarais scored a short-handed goal a little more than nine minutes into the second to give the Thunder a 4-0 lead. Jeromey Rancourt picked up the lone assist on the goal.

Levente Keresztes scored the Thunder’s first even-strength goal in the third period. Fisher Shea notched his second assist of the game.

South Shore’s Colton Sipperley spoiled Alexander Kozic’s shutout bid with a goal halfway through the third.

Friedman said he reminded his team after the game that they can’t take shifts off or doing everything individually.

“The big thing for me that I talked to the guys about (after the game) was the team versus me and little plays,” Friedman said. “We had some guys (force things through) the neutral zone instead of chipping puck deep (into the offensive zone). We had some guys who back-checked great, back-pressured and tried to get back and we had some guys, you know, were 70 percent, still had a little bit in the tank. Those little details in terms of how to hold a lead and how to win games is definitely something guys became a little more aware after and the importance of it.”

Eric Voloshin made 47 saves for the Kings.

The Thunder are back in action Friday against the Islanders HC at 11:40 a.m. at Merrimack College.


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