The Maine Nordiques season will begin their first North American Hockey League season with a road trip to Attleboro, Massachusetts.

The NAHL announced its Tier II junior hockey schedule Tuesday, and the Nordiques will open the 2019-20 season against the Northeast Generals.

The opener is part of a back-to-back set with the Generals. In all, the two teams will play 12 times during the regular season.

The Nordiques’ home opener won’t be until Oct. 4 when they will host the Johnstown Tomahawks for a two-game series (the teams will meet again the following night). The Nordiques first homestand is five games long, as they also welcome the Jamestown Rebels for a three-game set Oct. 11-13.

“We are excited to have Johnstown come for our home opener — last year’s (Eastern) division champions,” Maine Nordiques director of hockey operations and head coach Nolan Howe said. “They have been in our league for a long time, and they’ve got a passionate fan base and great ownership. We are excited to host them for our opening weekend.”

The Nordiques will have three stretches of three games in three nights. Along with the Jamestown series in October, the other two weekends are Dec. 13-15, when the Maryland Black Bears come to Lewiston, and Feb. 21-23 against the Generals.

Seven of the Nordiques’ nine games in October will be at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

Forty-eight of the 60 regular season games will be against Eastern division rivals. Along with facing the Generals 12 times, Maine will face the New Jersey Titans 10 times, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights and Johnstown eight times each, and Jamestown and the Maryland Black Bears five times each.

“(The NAHL) found it’s the best way to keep the travel costs down a little bit,” Howe said of the number of divisional games. “At the end of the day, we are a big league, we are spread all over the country — it’s apart of the appeal, right?

“As far as scheduling that works, best I know they have experimented with other things in the past. … I know the reason why the league does it is for travel and to stay close to home as best we can.”

The Nordiques will play the two Alaska teams — the Fairbanks Ice Dogs and Kenai River Brown Bears — four times each, with two games at home and two games on the road.

The Nordiques make the Alaska trip in January when they face the Brown Bears on Jan. 17-18 and the Ice Dogs the following weekend.

They will be in Alaska for 11 days.

Home games at the Colisee will be at 7 p.m., except for Sunday games and the Nov. 27 game, which will be played at 2 p.m.  The Nordiques only play one home game at the same time as a New England Patriots regular season game, on Dec. 15.

Four games have yet to be announced because the Nordiques will be part of the NAHL Showcase Tournament, held Sept. 18-21, in Blaine, Minnesota. Howe said those opponents will be announced sometime in August.

The season ends where it started as Maine travels down to Attleboro for a pair of games April 3-4.

The Nordiques will host doubleheaders throughout the season with the NA3HL’s L/A Nordiques and the Maine Nordiques Development Program U18 team that is based in New Jersey for this season but will play in Lewiston a few times. Exact dates will be announced later in the summer.

Howe is still working on a preseason schedule.

Other league events include the Top Prospects Tournament in Attleboro on Feb. 17-18, and the Robertson Cup Championship, which features the four division champions to determine the NAHL champion, in Blaine on May 8-12.


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