The Twin City Thunder gained a point on the Northern Cyclones for the fifth and final playoff spot in the USPHL’s NCDC New England Division on Thursday afternoon.

The Thunder defeated the Cyclones 4-3 in overtime at Cyclones Arena in Hudson, New Hampshire.

Twin City (12-22-2, 26 points) now sits four points back from the Cyclones (11-19-8, 30 points).

“We got some games in hand, as well,” Thunder coach Dan Hodge said. “We are one win ahead of them right now. We just need to keep playing. We have a game tomorrow against the Islanders (Hockey Club), and we have (the Cyclones) at our place Saturday.”

Thunder forward Nolan Leonard scored with 40 seconds remaining in overtime. He also had two assists in the game.

“Last year, we knocked the Cyclones out of the playoffs with a Leonard breakaway,” Hodge said “Patrick Last cleaned it up for him, but (Leonard) is a great kid, he works hard, a good team guy. We are happy to have him back.”


Leonard recently returned from injury.

Bryce Terry and Ian Duffy led the way for the Cyclones, with a goal and two helpers each.

Defenseman Gavin Connolly put the Thunder up 1-0 midway through the first period, with Scott Lagos and Leonard recording the assists.

The teams traded power-play goals in the second period. Duffy, who attended Maine Nordiques camps before the season, evened the game when his shot beat Thunder goalie Jeffrey Kreidler (33 saves) nearly a minute into the frame.

“It’s amazing, you don’t really notice him out there and then you hear his name over the loudspeaker a lot,” Hodge said of Duffy. “He had some points against us when he was with the Islanders, and with the Cyclones he has scored pretty consistently.”

Patrick Last added Twin City’s second goal 13:16 into the period. Roman Wainwright and James Tatro had the assists.


Isac Martins tied it back up for the Cyclones nearly eight minutes into the third period, with Duffy recording one of the two assists.

Terry gave the Cyclones a 3-2 lead nearly six minutes later.

There was an altercation toward the end of regulation. Northern Cyclones’ Colin Van Valkenburgh got a five-minute major for fighting and game misconduct for continuing a fight after Van Valkenburgh started throwing punches at Thunder defenseman Leo Mantenuto following a 2-on-1, according to Hodge. Mantenuto got a game misconduct for using an ethnic or racial slur, according to the USPHL’s game report.

“I don’t know what he said,” Hodge said of Mantenuto. “When they announced it saying he got a 10-minute misconduct, I asked the ref what happened. He said, ‘(Mantenuto) is gone, but the other guy is getting five.’ I said OK. The fact we lost him for 10 and the game and we got a five-minute major out of it, I was like, OK, and brushed it off. I haven’t called the refs, but if he did say something inappropriate, the league will reach out to us and we will handle it internally and accept their punishment.”

Twin City received a five-minute power play out of the sequence and John Clay Humphreys forced overtime by scoring in the final minute of the third period to tie the game 3-3. Leonard and Cullen McCormick set the goal up.

Logan Abric made 40 saves in the loss.

The Thunder play again Friday, with another road game against the Islanders Hockey Club in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts. Twin City hosts the Cyclones on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.

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