Lewiston’s Nick Pomerleau was the only player to find the back of the net during Saturday’s shootout, and his goal lifted the Twin City Thunder to a 2-1 victory over the P.A.L. Islanders in a USPHL National Collegiate Development Conference game in Marlborough, Massachusetts.

“I think we went with four forwards before that, and they didn’t get it done,” Thunder coach Dan Hodge said. “(Associate coach) Cam (Robichaud) and I looked at each other, and I said, ‘Let’s try a defenseman. Let’s try (Pomerleau).’ Sometimes an overlooked defenseman can get it done.”

Hodge said Pomerleau has good hands, which allows him to get quality shots off.

Pomerleau played a role in the Thunder’s only score in regulation when he assisted on Gavin Simopoulos’ goal midway through the third period. Simopoulos is from Cape Elizabeth.

Blake Tierny also had an assist on the goal.

The Thunder’s lead only lasted 28 seconds. The Islanders’ Donovan Powell scored a power-play goal at the 11:17 mark of the third period to even the score at 1-1.


Twin City (3-0-0, 6 points) killed off Tierney’s five-minute boarding major in the overtime session.

Goalie Trey Miller stopped 31 shots in net for the Thunder, and Cameron Smith turned aside 34 shots for the Islanders (1-0-2, 4 points).

“(Miller) and Cam Smith, they had a great duel,” Hodge said. “It was great goaltending, and it was fun to watch.”

The Thunder are in Marlborough for the Junior Bruins Shootout, which continues Sunday with a game against the Rockets Hockey Club and Monday against the Jersey Hitmen.


Joining the Thunder for Saturday’s game was defenseman Kadsen Johnson, who played in the Nordiques organization from 2019-21.

The 20-year-old of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, started the 2022-23 season with the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks of the North American Hockey League, but only appeared in two games.


Last season with the Nordiques, he had a goal and nine assists in 35 games. He appeared in seven games, recording two assists, in 2020-21, but played mostly with the Maine Nordiques 18U team. He had 12 goals and 38 assists in 50 games.

Johnson also spent the 2019-20 season with the 18U team.

There are other Maine Nordiques Academy connections on the Thunder.

“He knows a lot of our guys. He knows Pomerleau, he knows Anthony Marra, he knows Cam (Robichaud, who was the Maine Nordiques Academy 16U coach at the beginning of the 2020-21 season),” Hodge said. “It was a nice addition for us, and he’s a skilled defenseman that can move the puck well.”

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