The Twin City Thunder’s National Collegiate Development Conference team has done what no other team in the NCDC has done so far this season, and that’s beat the first-place Jersey Hitmen (32-4-3, 67 points) twice.

Friday afternoon, the Thunder (22-15-1, 45 points) accomplished the feat with a 4-2 win at the Ice Vault in Wayne, New Jersey.

Goalie Alexander Kozic, who made 41 saves in a 3-2 victory on December 14 against the Hitmen, stopped 46 shots on Friday.

“He’s really cool, calm and collected,” Twin City Thunder coach Doug Friedman said. “He has a very mellow personality, he’s so quick, but he’s so patient. He did a real good job; (the Hitmen) move the puck around really well, his style is compact and patient. He puts himself in good position to make the first save.”

After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, the Thunder’s offense was clicking early in the second period, as they had a short man-advantage to start the frame after Jersey’s Jericho Petkovich received a fighting major at the end of the first. Twin City’s Bradley Postula received two minutes for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct at the end of the first period.

After the team struggled on the power play last weekend, the Thunder made some adjustments this week practice.

“It was our setup and our options; we have multiple options and we (focused on it) in practice and they did a good job,” Friedman said. “Like every weekend, the game changes with your opponent and we dove in on the Hitmen penalty kill and the pressure they give and we capitalized on it.”

Lucas Skvarek put the Thunder on the board 4:05 into the period. Just 23 seconds later, Nick Rashkovsky gave the Thunder a 2-0 lead.

The Thunder were 2-for-6 on the power play while the Hitmen were 0-for-6.

Andrew Kurapov stretched the lead to 3-0 just past the six-minute mark.

The goal ended Cameron Fernandez’s (10 saves) afternoon in the Hitmen’s crease, as he was replaced for Gavin Abric (19 saves).

The Hitmen started to make their comeback nearly a minute later when defenseman and Dartmouth commit Tyler Borsch scored.

The game remained 3-1 for nearly 20 minutes as University of Vermont recruit Micky Burns scored just before the seven-minute mark of the third period to cut the Hitmen’s deficit to 3-2. It was his league-leading 34th goal and 58th point, which also leads the league.

Jersey couldn’t tie it up as Lewiston native Jeromey Rancourt scored an empty-net goal in the final minute of the game.

The two teams meet again on Saturday in New Jersey.

“’Hey guys, we beat them twice (in a season),’ that’s a good message to send,” Friedman told the team after the game. “But, a (weekend) sweep would even be better. We know they will come out hard.”

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