Twin City Thunder ran into a brick wall in their 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Hitmen on Tuesday night.

The Thunder fired 46 shots on goal, Jersey’s 19-year-old goalie but Justin “JJ” Cataldo 45 of them in a USPHL NCDC contest at Gallant Arena in North Andover, Massachusetts.

The game is the first of three for Twin City at the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase. The Thunder return to the ice Wednesday at 10 a.m. against the Mercer Chiefs and the Utica Jr. Comets on Thursday at 9:30 a.m.

Cataldo’s goals-against-average in 13 games this season is now 0.92, which includes seven shutouts.

Nick Braun paced the Hitmen with two goals, both on power plays. Panayioti Efraimidis had an assist on all four goals.

After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, the Hitmen opened up a 3-0 lead in the second period.

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Braun open the scoring with roughly six minutes remaining in the period. Nicky Romeo doubled the lead with under four minutes to go and then Braun scored his second goal with 68 seconds remaining in the frame.

Nicholas Zocco extended the Hitmen’s lead to 4-0 midway through the third period, beating Thunder goalie Trey Miller (33 saves).

Twin City’s Trace Norwell spoiled Cataldo’s shutout bid in the final seconds of the game with a power-play tally. Richard Davis and Nick Pomerleau had the assists.

The Thunder went 1-for-2 on the man advantage, and the Hitmen were 2-for-4.

NORWELL, JACKSON HONORED

The USPHL announced Tuesday that two Thunder players received player of the week honors: Trace Norwell was named North Division Forward of the Week, and Christopher Jackson is North Division Goalie of the Week.

Norwell had a goal and two assists in two games against the Junior Bruins over the weekend.

Jackson played big in both games, making 43 saves in Friday’s 3-1 win and 40 in Saturday’s 4-3 overtime victory.


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