AUBURN — The Northern Cyclones had the puck luck Saturday afternoon and the Twin City Thunder did not.

The Cyclones defeated the Thunder 2-0 behind goalie Pavel Grishin’s 37-save shutout in a USPHL NCDC game at Norway Savings Bank Arena.

Grishin, of Kazakhstan, said his job is to protect the lead and isn’t concerned about the number of shots he’s seeing.

“When you are playing in the game, you aren’t really thinking about it,” Grishin said. “You think about it the day after or this evening; I will think about it. It was a great game, I felt great and the main thing is that we won.”

Grishin had a shutout in Friday’s 7-0 win over the South Shore Kings.

Northern Cyclones goalie Pavel Grishin tracks the puck as Twin City Thunder’s Tommy Gannon, second from left, tries to get around a Cyclones defender to the loose puck during Saturday’s game in Auburn. RAM Sport Photography

The Thunder had their three-game winning streak snapped. They also won Friday, beating the Islanders Hockey Club 5-0.


“The goalie played well, give him credit,” Thunder coach Dan Hodge said. “They blocked a lot of shots and got in our way. We weren’t able to get pucks through and (Grishin) made some big saves.”

The Cyclones (7-2-0, 14 points) and the Thunder (7-4-0, 14 points) are now tied for second in the North Division, two points behind the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs (8-3-0, 16 points)

The Thunder had two power plays in the first period. They only had one shot on the first man-advantage, but on the second opportunity, they put a couple of shots on Grishin.

However, the Cyclones scored a shorthanded goal with time running down on the Thunder’s second power play. Ryan Sordillo’s shot beat Twin City goalie Christopher Jackson (30 saves). James Vermeersch provided the assist.

“We have been winning games and when you are winning, you get some puck luck,” Cyclones coach Bill Flanagan said. “Tonight, we got some puck luck with that one, that’s for sure.”

The Thunder had an early chance in the second period, as a shot went behind Grishin but cleared out of the crease before crossing the goal line.


Twin City had the puck in the offensive zone for the first five minutes of the second frame.

“In the second period, (Grishin) was unbelievable,” Flanagan said. “He was the reason why we were still in the hockey game.”

Twin City forward Aleksis Burktis had a breakaway eight minutes into the second period, which Grishin made a stop on.

“We kept saying on the bench, we have plenty of time, we have plenty of time, but time ticks away,” Hodge said. “I thought we had some good opportunities, good rushes, but every time we had a shot, (Grishin) was standing there,”

Early in the third period, the Thunder went to the power play for the fourth time, but Grishin stonewalled Twin City again.

Hodge said the Thunder had too many individual efforts.


“When you are trying to play an individual game, it doesn’t work that way,” Hodge said. “It’s a team game; we had some individual efforts that didn’t work out.”

Forward Nolan Leonard had a chance with two minutes remaining in the third period, but Grishin stopped the point-blank opportunity.

“It’s one of those games, you couldn’t solve (the goalie),” Hodge said. “You wish you could find a way, but you couldn’t solve him.”

Eddie Paulissian had another chance for the Thunder in the final minute, which Grishin stopped.

“I saw a lot of shots and a lot of work, but it was a team effort,” Grishin said. “That’s how you win the game.”

Paden Hicks scored an empty-net goal with 15 seconds remaining in the game.

The Thunder are on the road next weekend to take on the Connecticut Jr. Rangers on Saturday and Sunday.

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