Valeri Rykov made an impact in the Twin City Thunder’s first game of the United States Premier League’s Hub City event in Wesley Chapel, Florida on Wednesday.

The former L/A Nordiques player, who joined the Twin City Thunder National Collegiate Development Conference team in December, scored just before the three-minute mark of the overtime session as the Thunder defeated the Islanders Hockey Club 3-2 at the Advent Health Center Ice Rink, where the team will play 20 games in a 45-day span.

Noah Furman and Joey Potter had the assists on the game-winning goal.

Rykov finished the game with two goals — which were his first two of the season — and had an assist.

“Val is a big body and he’s good in front of the net when his stick is on the ice,” Thunder coach Dan Hodge said. “A couple times the puck found his stick. The first one was a goal-mouth scramble and the second one, the game-winner, he went forehand and went to the backhand and got the goalie moving to tuck it into the back of the net.”

Rykov’s linemate Dominic Chasse also had a goal and an assist.

The teams skated to a scoreless first period and Hodge was fine with that, as it allowed the Thunder to get settled into the game, which was Twin City’s first game since Dec. 13.

“I thought the first period was an even period. Both teams were trying to feel each other out to try to get back in the flow of it,” Hodge said. “It was nice being 0-0. Both teams had their chances in the period. Obviously you want to be tied or better coming out of the (period).”

Chasse, a former St. Dominic Academy star, put the Thunder (5-6-0, 10 points) on board with less than seven minutes remaining in the second period. Lewiston native Alex Rivet and Rykov had the assists. The goal was Chasse’s second of the season.

Chasse, a Utica College commit, missed a couple games because of an injury this year but has found a home on the line with Rivet and Rykov.

“He’s a good, young player and he adds some skill and he can score,” Hodge said. “He’s really crafty with Rivet and Rykov.”

The lead didn’t last long, as Connor Sweeny scored two minutes later to put the Islanders Hockey Club on the scoreboard.

Rykov put the Thunder back on top with a little over three minutes remaining in middle frame, with Chasse and Zach Conner recording the assists.

Islanders Hockey Club (11-9-2, 24 points) quickly responded, as Johnny Ulicny tied the game up at two.

Both teams were scoreless on the power play.

Connor Leslie made 24 saves for the Thunder while Brandon Milberg stopped 23 shots for Islanders Hockey Club.

The Thunder return to the ice Thursday morning as they take on the Rockets Hockey Club at 8:15 a.m.

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