Twin CIty Thunder’s Lukas Kucera uses his body to shield himself from New Hampshire Junior Monarch’s Landon Krekorian as he bears down on Monarchs’ goalie Artur Oganzhanyan Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

AUBURN – In his first game against his former team, New Hampshire Junior Monarchs goalie Artur Ogandzhanyan shut down the Twin City Thunder in a National Collegiate Development Conference game.

He made 24 saves in an 8-1 victory over the Thunder at Norway Savings Bank Arena Sunday afternoon.

“He’s a special goaltender for sure,” Monarchs coach Ryan Frew said. “Pucks stick to him, he consistently works hard on his craft and he puts the time in practice to be the best player he can be. He’s starting to get really good college interest.”

The Ukraine native really made his mark in the second period where he made 12 saves.

“I will be honest, I felt a bit nervous in the beginning for the whole first period for some reason,” Ogandzhanyan said. “I just understood I wanted to play good against this team. After the first period, I made a couple of good stops in the second then I felt like I was absolutely relaxed.”

Ogandzhanyan only allowed a shot from Thunder forward Nick Rashkovsky to beat him in the third period when the Monarchs had the game well in hand.

The Thunder traded Ogandzhanyan at the new year when Jaxon Friedman returned to the team after starting the year in the North American Hockey League.

“Artur is a really good goalie,” Thunder coach Doug Friedman said. “It’s unfortunate we had to trade him, but we are happy for him. We are glad he’s happy where he’s at and we knew he was going to play well there. He had a rough start the first week or so, but he’s back in his form that got him his success.”

Since joining the Monarchs, Ogandzhanyan has been a part of the Monarchs’ resurgence.

“It was kind of a turning point of our year a little bit and for all the wrong reasons,” Frew said. “I am very happy for (previous goalie Matt) Pasquale, committed to UConn. He was a great Monarch. We had the opportunity to get Ogandzhanyan and we knew he would be a guy that could keep pucks out of the net.”

Pasquale left the Monarchs (24-176, 54 points) around Christmas time to join the Northeast Generals of the NAHL where he played in three games before joining UConn for the second half of this season.

Kevin Paganini opened the scoring 2:51 into the game as he finished a feed from CJ Duvall. The lead was extended to 2-0 59 seconds later as Trent Denuccio put the puck past Thunder (23-22-1, 47 points) goalie Alexander Kozic (32 saves).

Duvall was the one who sparked the Monarchs offensively in the second period as he potted both goals in the period. Duvall made it 3-0 just 48 seconds into the stanza.

“It’s a bad trend that’s setting in right now,” Friedman said of slow starts. “It’s going to end; I know it is. We just had some good meetings after the game. We are going to have a lot of focus this week on our preparation more so, and leadership from our captains to all the way down to our players.”

Friedman said it was a ‘B’ level effort Sunday by his team.

In the middle of the period, just after the Thunder couldn’t convert on a four-minute power play, Duvall stretched the lead to 4-0. His line mates Aidan Curran, a University of New Hampshire recruit, and Paganini notched the assists on each of his goals.

“This time of the year, these points are crucial and we need to make sure we are taking points out of the game,” Frew said. “With three games left, we will have to rely on every guy, you can’t win with one line. You have to have a group of guys going consistently.”

Riley Enderle stretched the Monarchs lead to 5-0 early in the third period with Tanner Daniels notching the assist.

Daniels scored to make it 6-0 with a power play tally while Duvall added the extra point to make it 7-0 Monarchs to complete his hat trick. Enderle scored his second of the game on the power play for the Monarchs’ eighth goal.

In the third the game got out of hand with action after the whistle It started with a Jeromey Rancourt hit where he made contact to the head of a Monarchs player and got a game misconduct. Mathieu Lapierre and Nick Latvala also received game misconducts for the Thunder. Bradley Postula received a 10-minute misconduct.

For the Monarchs, JJ Berdal and Will Winship each received a 10-minute misconduct.

The two biggest penalties were handed out to the Thunder’s Zach Desmarais and Monarchs’ Landon Krekorian, each receiving a game disqualification for fighting or punching. Friedman believes Desmarais will be suspended for Saturday’s game against the New Jersey Rockets.


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