The PAL Islanders used a three-goal second period to take a 5-2 victory over the Twin City Thunder in Foxboro, Massachusetts, in a USPHL National Collegiate Development Conference junior hockey contest Friday.

The loss is the Thunder’s third straight.

Twin City had its chances in the first period.

“If anything, we outplayed them a little bit, we just couldn’t find the back of the net,” Thunder coach Doug Friedman said. “As the game went on, in the second and third periods, we got behind, gave up a few goals and some bad decisions. At the end of the game, that is what cost us.”

The Islanders had five different goal scorers.

After a scoreless first period, the Islanders (25-13-6, 56 points) built a 3-0 lead in the back half of the second.

Joe Santoro gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead, and then Ryan Gaulin took advantage of a Thunder (22-18-1, 45 points) penalty for too many men on the ice, his power play goal making the lead 2-0.

Domenic Settimo later added a goal to extend the advantage to 3-0.

The Islanders carried the momentum into the third period, and Ryan Willett scored just before the five-minute mark to stretch the lead to 4-0.

Twin City tried to make a late third-period comeback. Recent acquisition Lucas Kucera scored a power play goal with a little over eight minutes to play. Andrew Kurapov assisted on the score.

“He has a ton of skill, and he’s still getting adjusted with our systems and what we want to do,” Friedman said of Kurcera. “He has fit in nicely on the power play, and he had a real nice goal today.”

The next shift for Kucera and Kurapov’s line, it was Kurapov finding the back of the net and Kucera picking up the assist along with Christian Blomquist.

Aiden Torres added an empty net goal for the Islanders in the final minute of the contest.

Goalie Henry Graham made 30 saves for the Islanders, while Twin City’s Alexander Kozic made 26 saves.

The Thunder face the Boston Bandits on Saturday at 3:40 p.m., also in Foxboro as part of the South Shore Kings’ Presidents Day Showcase.

Twin City has a four-point advantage over the Bandits for the eighth and final playoff spot.

“At this point of the season, with the standings and how close everybody is and everybody is beating everybody else, every game is important,” Friedman said. “We have to treat the game like it’s the last game of the season.”

Only seven points separates the fourth- through eighth-place teams in the standings.

USPHL PREMIER

Connecticut 5, Twin City 2: Martin Seliga had two goals and an assist to lift the Jr. Rangers past the Thunder in Premier League action in Foxboro, Massachusetts, as part of the South Shore Kings’ Presidents Day Showcase.

Pietro Baccarin scored the game’s opening two goals for the Rangers, while Cooper Board added a goal and two assists in the win.

Nicholas Boudreau had a goal and an assist for the Thunder. Josh Kego also scored for Twin City.

Jackson Shulmistra made 29 saves for Connecticut. Thunder goalies Filip Jagren and Dekker Kiely combined to make 32 saves.

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