The Twin City Thunder coaching staff was expecting a New Hampshire Junior Monarchs comeback.

The Thunder built a lead in the first two periods to hold onto a 6-4 win in a USPHL National Collegiate Development Conference game in Hooksett, New Hampshire.

“(Assistant coach) Cam (Robichaud) was very vocal about, ‘Don’t quit, they will keep coming,'” Thunder coach Dan Hodge said. “(New Hampshire is) a hard-working team.”

Forward Sam Stitz scored the game-winning goal and the sixth goal of the game for the Thunder.

Nathan Chickering gave the Thunder (8-7-1, 17 points) a 1-0 lead nearly nine minutes into the game for his ninth goal of the season. His linemates Trace Norwell and Caden Smith had the assists.

The Thunder carried the momentum, and at the midway point of the first period, Tristan Rand scored his fifth goal of the year to take a 2-0 lead. Defenseman Trenton Skaggs had the helper.

A three-minute stretch in the second period opened the game for the Thunder. Carter Schram gave Twin City a 3-0 lead, with defenseman Blake Tierney notching the assist at the 7:42 mark. A little over a minute later, Skaggs scored for a 4-0 lead. Schram and Artem Kazakov had the assists.

It was Schram’s and Skagg’s first goals of the season.

“(Schram’s goal) was fluky, but I am sure he will take it,” Hodge said. “Hopefully that will get him going and scoring more. Skaggs was a nice hard shot. We have been telling him a lot to shoot the puck from the point. He got one through into the back of the net.”

Stitz scored at the 10:20 mark for a 5-0 lead.

With under four minutes remaining in the second period, Tanner Hartman put the Monarchs on the board.

The third period saw the Monarchs (8-8-3, 19 points) storm back.

Scarborough native Zander Lizotte scored his second goal of the year to cut the deficit to 5-2 at the 9:11 mark. Then, 16 seconds later, Hartman scored again to make it 5-3. With seven minutes remaining, Ryan O’Halloran scored his sixth goal of the season to bring the Monarchs within one goal.

“They made it 5-2, and then we had a turnover; (they made it 5-3),” Hodge said. “We overhandled the puck in the slot, and (they) made it 5-4. I called a timeout to settle the guys down. We did enough to get that sixth goal.”

Stitz added a much-needed insurance goal for a 6-4 Thunder lead.

Brody Haynes started his third game in a row for the Thunder, making 45 saves. Vincent Castelli (34 saves) played the first two periods for the Monarchs, and Mitchell Day (11 saves) played the third period.

The Thunder are at the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase next week and take on the Philadelphia Hockey Club on Thursday at 4 p.m. in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts.


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