Nordiques goaltender Jason St.Pierre makes a pad save on a shot from Wild forward Luke Church during second period action in Lewiston. (Ron Morin photo)

LEWISTON — Just like they have done for most of the season, the L/A Nordiques jumped out to an early lead Saturday.

The Nordiques scored twice in the first five minutes en route to a 9-1 victory over instate rival the Maine Wild in front of 510 fans at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

L/A’s season opening win streak is now seven games.

Josh Malone, Colby Audette and Armand O’Keefe each had two goals for the Nordiques.

“It feels great. I missed the home opener, it’s great to have a great game on your first game back in the Colisee,” O’Keefe said.

O’Keefe was coming off a two-game suspension for a kneeing major last Friday against the Skylands Kings.

Nordiques coach Cam Robichaud made the message clear before the game not to get any suspensions with a key contest with the Northeast Generals coming up Sunday afternoon.

“Actually, before the game after warm-ups I went into the locker room and I said to the guys: ‘We already have a lesson from this game. Look how short their bench is. It was because they weren’t discipline from the game before. We can’t afford to lose guys in this game when we are going to the play the Generals tomorrow,'” Robichaud said.

Cam Bisson and Jason Cote were both ejected for the Maine Wild in their 7-1 win over the Cape Cod Islanders last Sunday and weren’t in uniform Saturday. Robichaud said the Wild were missing a few players due to injuries as well.

The L/A players got their coach’s message.

“You gotta keep your cool, keep your head and play your own game,” Audette said. “You gotta play your own game and can’t worry about the other stuff.”

The Wild were 0-for-5 on the power play, while the Nordiques were 1-for-5.

JP Chauvin put the Nordiques up 1-0 with a blast from the left point for his fifth goal of the year at the 1:50 mark. Josh Sanchez and Josh Malone were credited with an assist on the goal.

A lucky bounce made it 2-0 L/A. O’Keefe’s got his stick on the puck and it went past Daniel Sprague into the goal. Kyle Secor and Andrew McCormick notched the assists.

“There was a rebound that just came in reach of my backhand,” O’Keefe said. “All I did was slide it through his five-hole. I didn’t think it went in at first, it’s only when I skated around the net and I saw the puck was in the net — the ref was blowing his whistle.”

Zack Mullin appeared to give the Nordiques a 3-0 lead when he had a breakaway on Sprague. Mullin’s shot beat Sprague cleanly but hit underneath the crossbar and didn’t cross the goal line. Despite the goal light turning on, the on-ice officials ruled it was no goal at the next stoppage of play.

The Nordiques started to pull away in the second period. Colby Audette picked up a loose puck off a Chauvin shot from the blueline in front of the crease and went to the backhand for a 3-0 lead at the 2:30 mark of the second period.

After Nicolas Lusignan stopped a Wild scoring chance with a hooking penalty, Audette led the shorthanded Nordiques to another goal, picking up a loose puck in front of the crease and beating Sprague with 8:14 remaining in the second.

The Wild finally got on the scoreboard when Emerson Southern picked off a Cole Ouellette pass. Emerson snapped home the Wild’s fourth shot of the night with 5:34 remaining in the middle stanza.

Jason St. Pierre made eight saves in the victory, while Sprague made 44 stops in the loss.

Malone added two goals at the tail end of the period, including finishing off a nice sequence with Mike Keller and Lusignan with 2:34 remaining. Keller and Sanchez notched the assists on Malone’s goal with 13 seconds left.

Joe Bisson stretched the lead to 7-1 when the Wild let him skate right in between the circles untouched and he went top-shelf on the backhand 1:31 into the third.

Sam Frechette scored on a power play to give the Nordiques a 8-1 lead with 9:31 remaining in the game, and O’Keefe scored with 3:56 remaining in the period, with Sanchez and McCormick picking up the assists.

Nordiques forward Connor Kennedy attempts to tip a shot past Maine Wild goaltender Daniel Sprague during first period action at the Colisee. (Ron Morin photo)

Joshua Sanchez of the Nordiques keeps an eye on an incoming shot during second-period action. Cody Woodward and goaltender Daniel Sprague of the Wild look on. (Ron Morin photo)


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