AUBURN — New Hampshire Junior Monarchs forward Ben Muthersbaugh went into the penalty box at the 12:52 mark of the third period for a 10-minute misconduct for disputing the referee’s judgment/ruling.

He wanted to make an impact when his misconduct ended, but the only chance was if Friday’s game with the Twin City Thunder went to overtime.

It did, and he sent the Monarchs back to Hooksett, New Hampshire, with two points, as he scored the game-winning goal in overtime to give the Monarchs a 2-1 win at Norway Savings Bank Arena.

“It sucked — I was helpless — I couldn’t help my team out,” Muthersbaugh said. “But, I was sitting there, crossing my fingers, hoping we would get to overtime. Sitting there, I was jittery; I wanted to help my team. Luckily when I got out of the box, I was out there.”

Aidan Curran set up the goal with a pass that stretched the neutral zone and bounced off the sideboards at the Monarchs’ offensive blue line to Muthersbaugh’s stick. Muthersbaugh took a couple of strides and went far post to score his 17th goal of the season.

“(Muthersbaugh) probably has one of the best shots in the league,” Monarchs coach Clint Edinger said. “He rang a pipe earlier in the game, right in front of our bench, far post. He’s a very accurate shooter, a pro shot.”


The Thunder had plenty of chances of their own in the overtime session. They had possession of the puck for the first 80 seconds of the extra session. Josh Anderson was stopped by New Hampshire goalie Mitchell Day (42 saves).

“Ryan Hintz was all alone in front of the net and Anderson had a breakaway,” Thunder coach Dan Hodge said. “It’s one of those things, they will fall in for you, and some nights they just don’t. Again, (Day) played really well, we couldn’t solve him tonight.”

Neither team wanted the game to go in overtime, with how close the USPHL National Collegiate Development Conference North Division standings are. The Monarchs (25-14-5, 55 points) have clinched a playoff berth and are tied with the Junior Bruins for first place in the division. The Thunder (21-16-6, 48 points) sit fourth in the final playoff spot. They have a two-point advantage over the Northern Cyclones.

Before Muthersbaugh’s misconduct, which teammate Seth Bernard also received after a Colin Wojciechowski roughing penalty, the Monarchs just had tied the game up at 1-1.

Ryan O’Halloran skated into the offensive zone and sent a cross-ice backhand pass in the slot to Bernard, who tapped the puck past Thunder goalie Brody Haynes (35 saves) 11:46 into the third period.

“Great play, (O’Halloran) got a lot of energy from our own end, got going through the middle of the ice and he made a really nice pass to Seth,” Edinger said. “Seth buried it, it was a big goal. That one, it was like, ‘OK, we got one, let’s see if we get this one to overtime. We can breathe a little bit.”


The Thunder started the first period in a strong way and had the play in the offensive end for most of the frame.

Twin City’s first scoring chance happened midway through the first period when Nathan Chickering’s shot on a 2-on-1 just went wide of the net.

The hard work paid off with two minutes remaining in the first when defenseman Ryan Hintz’s shot gave the Thunder a 1-0 lead.

“You can look at it both ways: You got a goal or you didn’t,” Hodge said. “Seventeen shots in the first period, 17 shots in the second period and we only have one goal to show for it.”

Twin City had a chance in the second period on the power play to extend the lead but couldn’t. The Thunder had a 5-on-3, which included a five-minute major as Monarchs forward Ian Driscoll received a butt-ending penalty. Zander Lizotte was already in the box for tripping.

Both teams were 0-for-3 on the man-advantage.

“Special teams are so crucial this time of year, we didn’t do a very good job on them,” Hodge said. “We had a 5-on-3, five-minute major that we just squandered.”

The Thunder also had another power play in the second period.

The teams meet again Saturday in Hooksett, New Hampshire, at 7:30 p.m.

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