The L/A Nordiques were well-represented earlier this week at the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament at the New England Sports Village in Attleboro, Massachusetts, the home of the Northeast Generals.

The Top Prospects Tournament consists of six all-star teams representing the six divisions of the NA3HL. Over 200 scouts were in attendance for it as well as the NAHL’s Top Prospect’s Tournament was running simultaneously at the New England Sports Village.

Six Nordiques players participated for the Coastal Division: defensemen Cole Ouellette, Andrew McCormick and JP Chauvin; forwards Valeri Rykov and Colby Audette; and newly acquired Andrew Ghimpeteanu, who was one of the two goalies for the Coastal Division, which was coached by Nordiques coach Cam Robichaud.

“It was great, we had the most amount of players represented by any organization there, we had six and obviously myself,” Robichaud said. “I was laughing because Don and Rodney, who are the Zamboni drivers and ice maintenance guys here (at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee), were actually taking care of the event there. So we had L/A Nordiques ice maintenance all-stars, coach all-stars and player all-stars.”

The Coastal Division prospects went 1-2 at the two-day event. They dropped their opening game Monday to the Central Division, 5-3. They came back later in the day to defeat the Frontier Division 3-2. They lost their final game Tuesday, 2-1, to the South Division.

Rykov was the only L/A skater to record a point as he scored in the win against the Frontier Division. Ghimpeteanu played in the win and the OT loss to the South Division.


All six Nordiques players spoke to NCAA schools at the event. Robichaud said that brings the total up to 13 players who have spoken to schools this season. He expects at least half to commit for for next year while the other half will play another year of junior hockey before committing to college hockey for the 2020-21 season.


The L/A Nordiques may have the best overall record in the NA3HL at 40-4-0, but Robichaud doesn’t believe they are currently playing their best hockey.

This weekend, on Saturday and Sunday, they take on the Niagara Falls PowerHawks, who are 2-36-2.

“We already skated this morning and I spoke to the boys, ‘I don’t care what the score of the game is, I am looking for you to be executing our team structure. That’s the expectation this weekend. Are you in the correct position, are you winning battles, are you making something simple as tape-to-tape passes? If you can’t make a tape-to-tape pass against a lower-end team in the league, how are you going to go to the finals of the Coastal Division or the first round so we can make it to the finals’” Robichaud said. “That’s the message. I personally don’t feel we are at the point we need to be to win the entire league. I think we need to be better to win the Coastal Division.”

The Nordiques close out the regular season March 6 against the Northeast Generals.


With home-ice advantage for the first two rounds of the playoffs, next on the list for the Nordiques is clinching the best record in the league.

They can get a maximum of 86 points if they win out. The only team that can catch them if they win out is the Texas Brahmas, who currently have 68 points but still have nine games remaining and can max out at 86 points.

If L/A does end up winning the Coastal Division title to earn a spot in the Fraser Cup tournament outside of Chicago, clinching the regular season’s best record will help them there.

“It is a mini-goal of ours,” Robichaud said. “One thing that can come out of it, if we are fortunate, of winning the Coastal Division and going to Chicago is we would be the No. 1 seed because of the regular season standings. That would give us a little easier pool play.”

Thunder sign second NCDC player

The Twin City Thunder announced Rocco DiFazio as their second player to sign to the Tier II team that will start playing in the USPHL’s NCDC league next season.


The 17-year-old DiFazio of Weymouth, Massachusetts, plays for the East Coast Spartans 18U team, where he has 22 goals and 16 assists in 57 games played this season. Martin Moioffer, his current teammate, was the Thunder’s first tender signee.

“The Thunder, I was looking into the coaching staff and I heard all great things about them,” DiFazio said Wednesday while attending a Thunder practice. “Also the team and the community environment is also great.”

Doug Friedman who will be the Thunder’s NCDC’s coach next season, believes DiFazio is an all around forward.

“He’s a hardworking player, gritty and finishes his checks,” Doug Friedman said. “He’s really one of those kids you notice on the ice. He’s got some decent offensive ability, he responsible, he’s a good skater. That sort of grit component, which is nice to have is what he brings and he’s still young.”


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