In the blink of an eye, the Maine Nordiques were in a hole in the blink of an eye Saturday.

The Chippewa Steel scored three times in a three-and-half-minute span in the first period en route to a 5-2 victory on the final day of the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota.

Braden Lindstrom and Braiden Dorfman scored for the Steel nearly a minute apart for a 2-0 lead 5:16 into the opening frame.

Killian Kiecker-Olson stretched the lead to 3-0 just before the eight-minute mark of the first.

Nordiques coach Nolan Howe said a couple of the goals were bad bounces and not the result of the play of goalie Connor Androlewicz, who made 19 saves in the game.

“We didn’t even consider taking Connor out of the net, we had full faith in him,” Howe said. “As I was walking in the locker room (after the first period), several of the boys were saying, ‘Hey Connor, that’s on us, we let you down there, we are going to battle back for you.’ As expected, Connor is an ultimate competitor, he kept us in the game, he continued to fight and made some huge saves as well.”

Noah Kane put the Nordiques on the board early in the second period on a power play, with Cole Ouellette and Trent Grimshaw picking up the assists. Maine was 1-for-2 on power plays, while Chippewa was 0-for-1.

Ouellette, a Lewiston High School graduate, had an assist in each of the four games this week.

“He’s been on our penalty kill and he’s been on our top power play unit, so we are using him in all of the situations,” Howe said. “(We had) a couple guys under the weather (today), so we really leaned on Cole and he has stepped up. I thought he had a great offensive jump and he created some really goal scoring chances for himself and teammates.”

Dorfman added his second goal 91 seconds after Kane’s goal to restore a three-goal lead for Chippewa.

Tyler Harvey notched the Nordiques’ second goal midway through the middle frame.

Jacob Dirks, a Twin City Thunder draft pick this past spring, added the Steel’s fifth goal in the third period.

Grant Boldt made 19 saves in goal for Chippewa.


Nordiques goaltender Avery Sturtz will be spending the next few weeks with the Sioux City Musketeers of the Tier I United States Hockey League.

Sturtz was expected to play in the Musketeers’ exhibition game Saturday night against the Sioux Falls Stampede.

He appeared in two games with the Nordiques this season, the first appearance last Saturday night in relief in a 7-6 loss to the Northeast Generals in which he allowed two goals in the third period. He started Thursday’s game against the New Mexico Ice Wolves, making 20 saves in a 5-2 win.

The Nordiques loaned Sturtz to Sioux City, and the plan is for him to return to Lewiston in a few weeks.

“It’s a heck of an opportunity for him to go out and prove himself at the USHL level,” Howe said. “I know he will come back with that experience and confidence to continue on with us.”

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