The Twin City Thunder came into the USPHL Summer Showcase with a feeling of excitement, and wondered if they were prepared for the unknown.
The excitement was to see some of the players that the organization had already signed along with some future players that are on the radar.
What they didn’t know was what to expect from the nation’s top junior hockey league. They found out that they were prepared very well, with a 3-0 record and an appearance in the semifinals.
They also realized that their future prospects will be ready when the time comes.
“We were nervous in the beginning stages of our first game,” said head coach Doug Friedman. “Tanner Ames was outstanding in net the whole tournament and we got contributions from everyone. The young kids played well and our veteran leadership was great.”
The impressive showing at the showcase convinced junior hockey veteran Derric Trudeau to sign with the Thunder. Trudeau has played in all Tier-3 leagues in New England - the NA3HL, EHL and USPHL - from 2013 to the present.
Last season, he split time with the New York Aviators and the Total Athletics Seahawks. His best season was 2016-17 when he captained the Northeast Generals and had 22 goals, 23 assists and 45 points in 45 games.
“I was very impressed with the [Thunder] team and the coaching. I am looking forward to contributing to the successes in the Thunder’s inaugural season,” Trudeau added.
The Twin City Thunder will play out of the state of the art Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn, Maine.
The twin sheet facility boasts two NHL size rinks, a private locker room and a turf field facility within a half a mile from the rink. The city of Auburn is excited to host the new USPHL team in its inaugural season and beyond.
“We are happy to call NSBA home,” said Thunder co-owner Dan Hodge. “There is no other dual sheet facility in the state of Maine. We have professional amenities for our team, locker room, skate sharpening, equipment repair, etc. We want to make this experience as close to pro hockey as possible. My business partner, Ben Gray, and I are very excited to see the team take the ice in September.”