The Twin City Thunder took a break from their regular-season schedule down in Wesley Chapel, Florida to take part in the United States Premier League-Professional Women’s Hockey Player’s Association All-Star Series.

The Thunder National Collegiate Development Conference team defeated the PWHPA All-Stars 3-2 in overtime Friday.

“They played a hard, skilled game,” Thunder coach Dan Hodge said. “They are up 2-1 with (three) seconds left in the game and we tied it up.”

The PWHPA is made up of a group of women’s players who came together after the Canadian Women’s Hockey League ceased operations in the spring of 2019. The goal of the organization is to promote a single, viable women’s hockey league. Some players on the roster include USA Olympic team standouts Gigi Marvin, Brianna Decker and Amanda Kessel.

“They were a great team. They actually have beaten a couple teams in the league,” Thunder forward Alex Rivet said. “They are a great team, you are playing (women) like Amanda Kessel, who is (NHL veteran and former Boston Bruin) Phil Kessel’s (sister), and she has won (one Olympic gold medal and two International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship gold medals). These women have been to the international stage and play for our country. To play on the same ice with them, it’s an experience in itself and a great opportunity.”

There were adjustments to the game, as there was no checking, which women’s hockey doesn’t allow, and slapshots weren’t allowed. The exhibition game allowed for expanded rosters and the Thunder called up players from the Premier League team that’s also down in Florida.

“We tried to respect the rules. We rolled five lines and eight defenseman,” Hodge said.

After the Thunder’s stunning loss on Thursday to the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs, Twin City had a mini comeback of its own.

Alexander Ray, one of the Premier League team call-ups, scored with three seconds remaining in the third period to tie the game. Noah Furman had the assist. Nearly three minutes into the overtime session, Lewiston native Rivet scored the game-winner.

“It was one of those games that it could have gone either way,” Rivet said. “There were times we were nervous and there must have been times they were nervous as well. Obviously it’s a good momentum booster going into tomorrow because we are playing one of the best teams in the league tomorrow.”

The Thunder return to regular season play Saturday when they take on the Junior Bruins at 4:40 p.m.

The PWHPA opened the scoring when Delaney Belinskas lit the lamp, with Gigi Marvin picking up the assist, with under five minutes left in the first period.

Valeri Rykov tied the game up in the second period for the Thunder.

Belinskas set up a Hayley Scamurra goal with about four minutes remaining in the game.

Devon Bobak made 13 saves in the win, while Katie Burt made 31 saves in the loss.

FURMAN COMMITS TO UNE

Twin City Thunder’s Noah Furman takes the puck around the back of the goal with South Shore Kings’ Ryan Davis on his heels in a hockey game in Auburn earlier this season. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Noah Furman is staying in Maine.

The Twin City Thunder’s leading point-getter committed to the University of New England on Wednesday. Furman, a Hopkinton, Massachusetts native, has three goals and 12 assists in 16 NCDC regular-season games this year.

UNE has been one of the top teams in New England the past few seasons, appearing in three Commonwealth Coast Conference championship games from 2017-19 and winning the conference title in 2019. The Nor’easters also made two NCAA Division III tournament appearances in 2018 and 2019.

Furman also played four games with the Thunder NCDC team last year before moving on to the Utica Jr. Comets, with whom he played in 12 games. He recorded no points in 16 NCDC games last season and finished up the year with the East Coast Wizards of the Eastern Hockey League, putting up five goals and 10 assists in 20 games.

Hodge likes how Furman is a puck hound.

“He plays a puck-possession game and it’s really hard when he gets down low to get the puck off his stick,” Hodge said. “He’s been a bright spot right now, he’s working hard.”

Furman becomes the third player on the Thunder NCDC team to commit a NCAA Division III school, as defenseman Jack Gilligan committed to Bowdoin College and captain Nick Rashkovsky committed to Williams College.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.