AUBURN — After no scoring through the first 20 minutes, the Twin City Thunder and the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs combined for nine goals in the final 40 minutes.

The Monarchs (4-0-1, 9 points) were the last team to have a big momentum swing, as they took the USPHL National Collegiate Development Conference contest, 5-4, on Tuesday afternoon at the Norway Savings Bank Arena.

“We just going over the film here, just a lot of mental breakdowns and (New Hampshire) capitalized,” Thunder head coach Dan Hodge said. “I give them credit, they are a well-coached team, they played hard and they capitalized on our mental mistakes.”

New Hampshire was led by Eric Brown, who had two goals on the afternoon. Brown said the Monarchs were just hoping to play their game.

“It’s been a crazy start to the year, so we try to get as many advantages as we can on the ice,” Brown said. “We watched some film this morning in the hotel to get an idea what we’re up against and just playing our game — not necessarily let them bring it to us, but bring them our game.”

The Thunder (2-4-0, 4 points) opened the second period on the power play as the Monarchs’ Kevin Urquhart went off for high-sticking, but it was New Hampshire that got on the board first. Just as the penalty ended, Tucker Lamb came into the Monarchs offensive zone with speed and beat Thunder goalie Connor Leslie (30 saves).

Just a little over two minutes later Brown scored for the Monarchs for a 2-0 lead, with Kam Hellman and John Russo notching the assists.

“That’s Brownie, he won’t score for two or three games…but that’s how he is,” Monarchs coach Tony Dalassio said. “It’s big goals in times when we need it. “

Twin City started to mount its comeback late in the second period, as South Portland native Bradley McMains found Martin Moioffer in the slot and Moioffer put the puck past Monarchs goalie Artur Ogandzhanyan (21 saves), who used to play for the Thunder.

Gabe Potyk tied the game for the Thunder with 34 seconds remaining in the middle frame, with Noah Furman and Nick Rashkovsky collecting the assists.

“I actually hoped it was going to carry the momentum in the third but we kind of came out flat,” Hodge said. “We got ahead of them 3-2 and then they tied it. They got ahead of us and we are chasing, it’s tough to chase a team like that especially.”

Rashkovsky opened the scoring four-plus minutes into the third period to give the Thunder a 3-2 lead.

The wheels came off the bus for the Thunder midway through the third period when the Monarchs scored three in a row of their own. Eric Brown tied the game up at the 7:22 into the third period and a minute later Sean Brown put New Hampshire on top 4-3. Gabe Porter stretched the lead to 5-3 just past the nine-minute mark.

“It was definitely a big jolt when we got a quick one to tie it back up and then take the lead,” Eric Brown said. “It was a fun game.”

Potyk scored a power-play tally with under three minutes to play in the game. The Thunder also had a chance in the final seconds to tie it up but just missed the net.

The Thunder were 1-for-5 on the man advantage while the Monarchs were 0-for-3.

The game was supposed to be played in late September but was postponed because the Thunder had players test positive for the coronavirus. The teams meet again Friday in Hocksett, New Hampshire and come back to Auburn on Saturday night.


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