L/A Nordiques’ Joshua Sanchez keeps the puck away from Northeast Generals’ Alberto Pison during the hockey game in the Colisee in Lewiston earlier this season. Joshua Malone watches the play from the left. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal) Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

LEWISTON — For Cole Ouellette, he’s use to collision courses in his hockey career.

When he was at Lewiston High School, it was always going to be a collision course with St. Dom’s or Bangor in the Class A North regional final to get to the state championship game. Now the same can be said in his junior career.

Last year, the L/A Nordiques fell to the New England Stars in the Coastal Division Final. Now if they want to get to the Fraser Cup Championship in Woodridge, Illinois, starting on March 27,  they will have to go through the Northeast Generals.

The Generals swept the Stars in two games in the Coastal Division semifinals to face the Nordiques starting, Thursday night at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee at 7 p.m. Game two will be Friday night at the New England Sports Village in Attleboro, Massauchetts at 7:30 p.m. Game three, if necessary, will be back at the Colisee on Saturday at 7 p.m.

“Obviously we played them (six) times during the year, we know they are good and they added some players throughout the season,” Ouellette said of the Generals. “I knew it was either going to be the Stars or Generals the whole season because they were the toughest teams that gave us the hardest times during the season, besides the teams in Minnesota (at the NA3HL Showcase in December).”

The Nordiques went 5-1 against the Generals (33-12-2) this season. The lone loss on October 17 was the first loss of the season for the Nordiques, who started the season 12-0 en route to a 43-4 record during the regular season. In four of the six games this season, the winning team won by three or more goals, while the other two matchups were decided by one goal in which the Nordiques won, including a 7-6 game that went to a shootout on Sept. 30.


“I don’t think too many (people) are surprised,” Nordiques coach Cam Robichaud said. “We were two of the stronger teams from right from the beginning. It seemed like we both added to our roster, kind of at the same time, just to make a deeper roster. We were both able to get through the first round because of that. We are excited, hungry and eager to get started against them.”

The Nordiques added seven players to the roster throughout the season. Northeast added six, including Cole Therrien who started the season with the Twin City Thunder before rejoining the Cape Cod Islanders, then got traded to the Generals.

Special teams will be key in the series, as the Nordiques had the league’s second-best power play during the regular season at 36.4 percent, just behind the Helana Bighorns who were at 37.5 percent. The Generals were 12th in the league at 26.9 percent. The Nordiques were sixth during the regular season on the penalty kill at 84 percent, while the Generals were 17th in the league at 80.7 percent.

“The first priority is going to be our (defensive) zone, our penalty kill and the amount of time and space we are limiting them,” Robichaud said.

Ouellette knows they will have to score when they get their chances.

“We need to capitalize on our opportunities and even capitalize on the opportunities that we get 5-on-5,” Ouellette said.

Robichaud expects it to be a physical series and the Generals have a player that fits the agitator role to a tee.

“I think they will come out and be physical,” Robichaud said. “I think what we have seen here, two of the three home games, (Carson) Asper has been kicked out. He’s a big body and his game is to be an agitator. He can score (17 goals and 16 assists in 36 games) and can bring other elements to their roster. He gets physical and their team feeds off of that. I think they try to bully us, and some of our smaller forwards who have a lot of points, they are trying to wear down.”

Robichaud said the Nordiques need to have good puck movement and puck support to combat the physical play the Generals are going to bring.

Recently acquired L/A Nordiques goaltender Andrew Ghimpeteanu makes a timely save during second-period action against the Northeast Generals at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Saturday. (Ron Morin photos) Ron Morin photos

L/A’s JP Chauvin and Northeast’s Carson Asper battle for a loose puck at center ice during Saturday night action at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee. (Ron Morin photos) Ron Morin photos

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