The rivalry between the Maine Nordiques and the Northeast Generals spilled over from the Tier III level to Tier II level in a penalty-filled contest Friday.

The Nordiques won their first-ever North American Hockey League contest, beating the Generals 5-1 in front of 275 fans at the New England Sports Village in Attleboro, Massachusetts.

The Nordiques were 1-for-9 on the power play, while the Generals were 1-for-8.

“It was a lot of fun. It was a great challenge for us to come in and play our closest proximity rival in their home opener, it was a big deal for them,” Maine Nordiques coach Nolan Howe said. “To come in and ruin their day is something we took a lot of pride in.

“As (assistant) coach Cam (Robichaud) said in the locker room, we are only good as our next game. So hopefully we can enjoy this one here tonight, but do what we need to do to be ready for tomorrow.”

Jacob Crespo opened the scoring as he gave the Nordiques a 1-0 lead seven minutes into the game.

The play that set up the goal was something the team has been working on all season.

“We have been working on it all throughout training camp, driving pucks to the net and have our defensemen activate to be really engaged and be that secondary wave to cash in on some rebounds,” Howe said. “We scored a goal with a good net drive and driving pucks to the net, and a defenseman was able to hop into the play there and score our first-ever goal in franchise history.”

The score remained 1-0 into the second period until Makem Demers made it 2-0 Nordiques. Manny Sanchez stretched the lead to 3-0 with less than five minutes left in the middle period.

“The reality is we believe those guys can put the puck into the net for us and what you were able to see tonight was contributions from all of our lines,” Howe said of Demers and Sanchez. “We think that makes us a dangerous and challenging team to play against, is our depth. A different guy can beat you any given night.”

Cannon Green picked his second point of the evening to give the Nordiques a 4-0 advantage early in the third period on the power play.

Just past the five-minute mark, Tyler Cooper put the Generals on the board to cut the deficit to 4-1. That tally was also on the power play.

Goalie Connor Androlewicz, a University of Maine recruit, stopped 34 shots for the Nordiques in the win.

“Connor was an absolute rock for us. Not his ability to stop pucks, but make difficult saves look simple and simple saves like he’s not even trying,” Howe said. “He’s so confident that he’s a calming influence for our entire team, he handles the puck so well, which allows us to get transition on our breakouts.”

Pitts, who assisted on Crespo’s opening goal scored an empty net goal with 40 seconds left.

Joey Stanizzi made 24 saves in the loss for the Generals.


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