AUBURN — The Twin City Thunder dropped their fifth game in a row Wednesday, falling to the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs 4-3 in a shootout in a USPHL National Collegiate Development Conference game at Norway Savings Bank Arena.

The Monarchs (17-12-4, 38 points) scored three unanswered goals in regulation to force overtime.

Twin City (16-4-3, 35 points) coach Dan Hodge said special teams hindered the Thunder.

“We were up 3-0 and we had a comfortable lead, then (we) gave up a shorthanded go

al,” Hodge said. “The momentum went to them and they got a power-play goal. They took the game away from us; we gave it away.”

Twin City’s Tyler Healey opened the scoring from the slot just past the midway point of the first period. Forward Matt Cole and defenseman Blake Tierney had the assists.

Healey scored his second goal of the game on a power play, ripping a shot from the right circle past Monarchs goalie Mitchell Day (20 saves). The assists went to Tierney and fellow defenseman Lucas Doran.

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“He has been fantastic all year,” Hodge said of Healey. “There was that time he was out with an injury, but he came back. It took a couple of games for him to get going, but he’s scoring (nearly at a) (point)-a-game pace.”

Healey has 15 goals and 10 assists in 26 games.

Twin City went up 3-0 when Sam Stitz made a drop pass in front of the Monarchs’ goal to Lewiston native Dom Chasse, who put the puck in the net 6:30 into the second period. Defenseman Nolan Sargent also had an assist.

Special teams gave the Thunder trouble midway through the second. The Thunder turned it over on a power play and New Hampshire went on a 2-on-1. Aidan Curran passed it to Tanner Hartman and Hartman’s shot bounced off Thunder goalie Brody Haynes (33 saves) and into the goal.

“The momentum that gave us, being down three, was huge,” Monarchs coach Clint Edinger said. “I thought we played very good from that point on.”

The Monarchs then went on a power play and Curran found former Maine Nordiques player Zach Whitehead in the slot. The goal is Whitehead’s first since leaving the Nordiques and joining the Monarchs last Friday. Hartman also had an assist.

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Whitehead has seen his role changed between the Nordiques and Monarchs.

“It’s definitely different than the Nordiques,” Whitehead said. “With the Nordiques, I was on the (penalty kill) and depth role. Now, here, they needed me to step in and play a new role (one of the top two lines) and power play.”

New Hampshire’s Seth Bernard tied the game at 3-3 when he drove to the net and lifted the puck past Haynes with a backhander.

“That was an ‘old-school, bring it to the dirty area, you are probably going to get hit’ (type of goal),” Edinger said. “That’s what he did, he drove (to the net) on the backhand and he found a way to put it home.”

After a Ben Muthersbaugh miss in the shootout, Hartman and Curran scored for the Monarchs. Healey and Caden Smith missed for the Thunder.

The Thunder went 1-for-5 on the power play and the Monarchs were 1-for-4.

Next up for Twin City is a road game against the Islanders Hockey Club on Thursday at noon.


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