BIDDEFORD — The L/A Nordiques received a scare Wednesday afternoon, needing overtime to defeat the Maine Wild 5-4.

Former Lewiston High School standout Joe Bisson scored the game-winner 3:05 into the extra frame.

It’s only the third time the Nordiques (34-3, 68 points) played beyond regulation. They defeated the New England Stars 3-2 in overtime in the opening game of the season and beat the Northeast Generals 7-6 in a shootout on Sept. 30.

The win is L/A’s fifth of the season over its instate rival this season. It was the teams’ closest contest so far, due in part to the Wild’s recent acquisition of goaltender Tom Spero, who made 51 saves in the loss.

“The shots were 55 to 18,” Nordiques coach Cam Robichaud said. “They got a new goaltender who’s pretty solid. He had 47 saves against the Stars in his last game and a bunch of saves against us today. He definitely kept them in the game and they capitalized on three power plays. So, we had some selfish, undisciplined penalties in the second that completely changed the flow of the game, that kind of allowed them to get into it.”

The Nordiques will probably see a lot of Spero down the stretch as their next two games are against the Wild (7-23-5, 19 points) — first next Wednesday at the Colisee and the following Wednesday in Biddeford.

Robichaud points out that the Wild are five points back of the Long Beach Sharks for the fourth and final playoff spot in the NA3HL Coastal Division.  The team that earns that spot will have a first-round playoff matchup against the first-place team, which is currently the Nordiques (the Northeast Generals are in second place with 54 points).

The Nordiques weren’t too phased by the new Wild keeper early in Wednesday’s game. Forward Valeri Rykov gave L/A a 1-0 lead 36 seconds into the game, then Colby Audette scored his 33rd goal of the year to make it 2-0 at the 4:11 mark.

Reagan Wintle, a former Thornton Academy standout, was the offensive catalyst for the Wild. He cut the deficit in half just past the five-minute mark of the second period.

Sergei Anisimov put the Nordiques up two again with a goal 7:38 into the middle frame. Anisimov has found instant chemistry with his fellow Russian Rykov, who notched one of his three assists on the goal.

“Sergei Anisimov has elevated his game since Valeri (has) joined our team,” Robichaud said. “I don’t know if they are having a battle of who is the bigger Russian or what. I like it because they have chemistry and do well together.”

Anisimov also had a helper on Rykov’s goal.

Emerson Southern put the Wild within one at 3-2 with a power-play goal with a little less than five minutes remaining in the second period.

Wintle tied the contest 74 seconds into the third period and completed the hat trick when he gave the Wild a 4-3 lead at the 4:19 mark. Both goals were on power plays and both were assisted by former Edward Little High School standout Cody Woodward and another former Thornton Academy player, Chandler Bilodeau.

Local players also played a pivotal role for the Nordiques. Cole Ouellette of Lewiston tied the game at the 6:38 mark, and Bisson scored the his 33rd goal of the season in overtime to give L/A its 34th win of the season.

Goalie Daniel Miller made 14 saves for the Nordiques.


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