#USPHLPlayoffs Series Previews: Boston Junior Bruins vs. Twin City Thunder

Photos by Britt Hart


By Joshua Boyd / USPHL.com


Boston Junior Bruins (3) vs. Twin City Thunder (6) 

All games at Boston Junior Bruins

Thursday, March 2, 2:20 p.m.

Friday, March 3, 12:50 p.m.

Sunday, March 5, 2:10 p.m. 


The Boston Junior Bruins are set to face off against the Twin City Thunder in a series that will kick off Thursday at New England Sports Center. This will mark the first playoff meetings between the New England Division opponents. 

The Junior Bruins finished third at 29-14-0-1, and climbed up from their standing of sixth place when October flipped to November. They continued their climb because they won all of their November games and 11 total in a row between Oct. 11 and Dec. 1. From December on, they never slipped from third and continued to contend for second down the stretch. 

“I’m excited to see this team play some playoff style hockey. We play our best when we know something is on the line and know that every little detail matters,” said longtime Premier Head Coach Nevin Hamilton. “We will need to focus on puck control this series and limit the turnovers in all three zones. Against the Thunder, we will make sure we continue to have quick transitions and get up the ice with good pace. All season, we have talked about making simple plays off of the rush with quick puck movement and a good net drive. 

“This is the time of year that teams either embrace that type of play or every shift will be a struggle.”

Jake Terra led the Junior Bruins with 51 points in 39 games, while Dominik Bovan finished in the top 15 of the league in goals against average (2.31) and save percentage (.931). 

The Thunder went 16-24-2-2 on the season. They play in a buzzsaw New England Division, as illustrated by their much closer 4-5-0-1 record against Mid-Atlantic teams. Scoring depth was strong for the Thunder, who saw 30 different players register at least a point over the course of the season. 

“I think we are starting to compete a lot more consistently, which is something we have struggled with in the past. We are excited about this match-up against the Junior Bruins,” said Colt Steele, the first-year Thunder coach. “I think, offensively, we are doing a much better job of entering the zone and creating plays off that zone entry, which should be a great strength for us in this series.”

In 2021, the Junior Bruins and Thunder went three games, with the Junior Bruins ultimately winning 2-1 – including the last in a 3-2 overtime game. The Junior Bruins played the Thunder four times in the regular season in 2022-23, and won all four, but only twice in regulation – most recently on Feb. 23 by a 5-1 score. 

“We had a hard-fought battle in the playoffs against the Thunder a few years ago. It is a program that plays with a lot of pride, which can go a long way in the playoffs,” said Hamilton. “They took us to OT twice this season and, if we are not very disciplined in our own zone, then the Thunder have the ability to capitalize on opportunities and can take the momentum and run with it.”   

“The Junior Bruins have a lot of skill and speed which is something we need to be able to contain,” said Steele. “They are a team that puts together a full 60 minutes and can capitalize on your mistakes so we will focus on limiting our mistakes.”