AUBURN — The Islanders Hockey Club built an early lead and cruised to victory in the Twin City Thunder’s home opener Saturday.

Five players scored in the 5-0 victory for the Islanders in a USPHL NCDC game at Norway Savings Bank Arena.

“You look at it, we scored a shorthanded goal and an even-strength goal,” Islanders coach Tim Kyrkostas said. “Max Lundgren, (Tikhon Ashikhmin) and Max Tsegelnik have been pheromonal, but all of our lines have.”

The Thunder had an early shot advantage in the first period. Islanders HC goalie Frank Murphy was up to the task.

Twin City coach Dan Hodge said the Thunder couldn’t sustain the pressure throughout the game.

“We came out somewhat fast and they scored,” Hodge said. “You can’t give up a shorthanded goal like that, and it’s a killer. It gets you behind the 8-ball and you give up an odd-man rush. We didn’t execute, we didn’t play, we didn’t battle.”


With AJ Noel — who was at the Maine Nordiques’ main and training camps — in the box, the Islanders went on the offensive. Braxton Powers stuffed a wrap-around attempt past Thunder goalie Stefan Carney (35 saves).

“Braxton Powers, he’s our captain, he had an amazing hustle play,” Kyrkostas said. “He picked a guy off and the goalie didn’t expect it, and it’s in the back of the net and off we go.”

Twin City had a few opportunities on the power play.

Midway through the first period, Lundgren gave the Islanders a 2-0 lead. Morris Schneider set the goal up.

Late in the first period, Islanders defenseman Samuel Larsson’s shot rang the crossbar into the net for a 3-0 advantage. Ashikhmin had the helper.

Lundgren almost potted another goal but Carney made a glove save early in the middle frame. Islanders defenseman Andrew Miller hit the post in the period.


The Thunder’s best scoring opportunity was when forwards Patrick Last and Gavin Brandon went a 2-on-0 but made one too many passes.

“That was kind of the play Pat Last scored on against the Northern Cyclones last year,” Hodge said. “It was a breakaway and he got the rebound. It was one of those where we had an opportunity, but it’s not good until it goes into the back of the net.”

Twin City also had two power plays in the second period but couldn’t generate much from them.

Philippe Guay went in on a breakaway and his backhander went top-shelf to give the Islanders a 4-0 lead nearly 11 minutes into the third period.

Tsegelnik put the Islanders up 5-0 a few minutes after Guay’s tally.

Murphy made 42 saves.


“We have arguably the best goalie in the league,” Kyrkostas said. “We have a great defensive core, and we managed the puck the right way for 60 minutes. The results show for it.”

The Thunder have a home-and-home with the South Shore Kings on Friday and Saturday. Twin City travels to Foxborough, Massachusetts, on Friday for a 2 p.m. game, and South Shore visits Norway Savings Bank Arena at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Hodge said the team will work on its defensive play in practice this upcoming week.

“D-zone, D-zone, D-zone, we have to be stronger in our D-zone,” Hodge said. “We aren’t competing hard enough from the defensemen and the forwards.”

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