Maine Nordiques forward Alex Rivet sends Valentino Passarelli of Jamestown flying during a game in the 2019-20 season at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston. Ron Morin photo

Alex Rivet looks like he has found a home for his final season of junior hockey.

The Lewiston native recently attended the Johnstown Tomahawks’ main camp and has earned an invite to the club’s training camp where five more cuts will take place  starting on Sept. 14.

If he makes it through the second round of cuts in September, it will be Rivet’s second stint in the North American Hockey League, after starting the 2019-20 season with the Maine Nordiques, where he was tendered and made the Nordiques inaugural roster. Rivet was released in January and went to Manitoba to finish out the season.

One of the factors in Rivet’s favor, in the eyes of the Johnstown coaching staff, was Rivet’s experience in the league. The main camp had players split into six teams, with five of the six teams featuring a returning player on the team. The lone team that didn’t have a Johnstown returner was Rivet’s team.

“They wanted to see how I would adapt to it and all that, how I would take ownership, leadership role,” Rivet said. “They really wanted to see how I reacted to being a leader and all that. Obviously being a 2000 (born player) it’s your veteran year and you want to take the younger guys under your wing and teach them how to play in the league and how to find success.”

Johnstown, which finished second in the NAHL East Division with a 34-13-4 record last season, had many forwards depart from the team. The Tomahawks had seven 1999-born forwards who aged out and three more players moved on to Division I hockey.

“(They) lost three (2000-born) players,” Rivet said. “We lost Tristan Poissant to Maine, we lost Max Kouznetsov to Canisius College and obviously the reigning MVP Christian Gorscak to Niagara. There were definitely roles and (Johnstown) took three 2000-born forwards to replace those guys, me being one of the three.”

Lewiston native Alex Rivet of the Maine Nordiques checks Cam Gaudette of the Northeast Generals into the boards during a game in Lewiston last December. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

The opportunity with the Tomahawks was a last-minute opportunity, as they saw Rivet at the United States Premier Hockey League’s Summer Showcase. At the time, Rivet was with the Utica Jr. Comets, who drafted him in the National Collegiate Development Conference Draft in June, but he was really hoping at another shot in the NAHL.

Johnstown liked what they saw from Rivet and offered him the opportunity to go to its main camp. Rivet had another NAHL opportunity to attend the Northeast Generals main camp in late July, but felt like Johnstown would be the better fit. He liked the Tomahawks’ success moving players to the college ranks and the team success the past few years, as the team was the East Division’s representative in the NAHL Robertson Cup in 2019, a postseason tournament that crown’s the league champion.

With the Generals, there wasn’t as many spots available on the roster compared to Johnstown.

“I was looking to be a top-nine guy, probably be in that third-line spot being a veteran and staying there,” Rivet said. “But the thing with the Generals is they had a lot of 2000s that happened to be right-wingers and returning. I would have to fight for the spot. It’s obviously something I could have done, but Johnstown, when they laid out their plan to me, they did not have any right-wing returners. They wanted to add some experience on the wing.”

Rivet is looking forward to facing his former team this season.

“I am excited for it. The Maine Nordiques gave me the North American League opportunity, which I am very thankful for,” Rivet said. “It got me ready for the upcoming year. Obviously I didn’t finish out the year, but I played (27 games). I got a good glimpse, good experience for what’s to come and how to play in the North American League.”

THUNDER TENDER MAKES DIVISION I COMMITMENT

Twin City Thunder NCDC tender Matus Hadusovsky has found his college hockey home, as he recently committed to American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts for the 2022-23 season.

The 17-year-old of Spisska Nova Ves, Slovakia last played with the Springfield Pics 16U team, where he put up 41 goals and 26 assists in 27 games and was named the USPHL 16U All-Star Game MVP. He also appeared in two games for the Pics Tier III Elite junior team, scoring one goal.

“They have excellent conditions for hockey, and I was completely satisfied with the Pics,” Hadusovsky said in a Pics news release “The most important thing was that (16U coaches) John and Anthony Sarno helped me, which led me to getting the offer for an NCAA DI school, which is a dream come true. I would like to give a huge thank you to the entire Pics organization, especially the Sarno brothers. This has been the best season I have ever had.”

Thunder owner and NCDC coach Dan Hodge confirmed in a text message to the Sun Journal that the plan is for Hadusovsky to play for the Thunder this season.

AIC plays in the Atlantic Hockey Conference and this past season had an overall record of 21-12-1 (21-6-1 in Atlantic Hockey for first place in the conference). In the 2019 NCAA Tournament, the Yellow Jackets upset the overall No. 1 seed St. Cloud State 2-1 in the first round in their NCAA Tournament debut.


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