The Twin City Thunder and Northern Cyclones needed overtime to settle Game 1 of their best-of-three NCDC North semifinal series Friday at Cyclones Arena in Hudson, New Hampshire.

Michael Felsing made sure there wasn’t a second overtime. The forward gave the top-seeded Cyclones a 3-2 victory when his power-play shot beat Thunder goalie Christopher Jackson with 25 seconds remaining in OT.

“I honestly thought for sure we would get to the break there to get some rest and get ready to go again,” Thunder coach Dan Hodge said. “I will give them credit, they made a nice play, a one-timer from the top of the blue line, and a screen in front. Jackson played well, but he couldn’t find that one.”

Marko Giourof, the Cyclones’ leading scorer in the regular season, opened the scoring late in the first period.

Giving up goals in the final minutes of a period has been an issue recently for the Thunder.

“In the last five minutes in the first period, they were able to score and in the last five minutes in overtime, they were able to score,” Hodge said. “I think all three periods against the Advantage, we were scored on in the last five minutes. ”


The Boston Advantage scored twice Wednesday in a 5-4 play-in loss to the Thunder with less than five minutes remaining. A third goal in that game came with six minutes remaining.

The fourth-seeded Thunder bounced back early in Friday’s middle frame when Tristan Rand continued his hot streak by beating Cyclones’ goalie Colin Ronan (39 saves) with a power-play goal. Defensemen Cullen McCormick and Blake Tierney had the assists.

“Again, like he did the other day, he just shot the puck — he didn’t overdo it,” Hodge said. “He just kind of got it and ripped it into the net. Luckily, there was a screen in front of their goalie.”

The Thunder went 1 for 4 on the man advantage and the Cyclones were 1 for 2.

Rand’s tally, his sixth in the past five games, came 2:34 into the middle period. However, 1:24 later, Austin Rice gave the Cyclones a 2-1 lead.

The scoring barrage continued when Trace Norwell evened the game for the Thunder 4:48 into the second period — 50 seconds after Rice’s goal. Ben Portner and McCormick had the assists on Norwell’s third tally of the postseason.


Hodge said Twin City had more scoring chances in the second period after Norwell’s goal, including Norwell having a partial breakaway, but they were stopped by Ronan, who played solid in net for the Cyclones.

In the third period, Hodge said, the teams were jockeying for position and neither team wanted to make a mistake because the feeling was the next goal would be the game-winner, and the game remained 2-2 until Felsing’s game winner in overtime.

Jackson finished with 45 saves for Twin City.

Game 2 is Saturday at 1 p.m. at Cyclones Arena, while Game 3, if needed, will be at 1 p.m. on Sunday in Hudson.

“I feel good about it,” Hodge said of Saturday’s game. “We have a resilient team, and tight-knit. I think they will show up to play to win. We got to, we have no choice, it’s do or die. I believe our team will answer the call.”

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