The Maine Nordiques battled with the New Jersey Titans, the team with the fourth-best winning percentage in the entire North American Hockey League, closely until the final 20 minutes.

Then the Titans scored four times to skate away with a 6-1 victory in Middletown, New Jersey.

Nordiques coach Nolan Howe said the scoreboard doesn’t tell the entire story.

“A funky bounce on their third goal and then we tried to get super aggressive and gave up an empty netter and (another) late goal,” Howe said. “I think the score is more indicative of us pulling out all the stops to try to get back into the game in the third. I actually think for anybody who was able to watch the game, the second period was one of our best periods of the whole season.”

Josef Glamos and Mitch Machlitt each had two goals for the Titans.

New Jersey opened the game with two special teams goals in the first period. Kyle Jeffers scored his seventh of the season and Mitch Machlitt had a short-handed tally.

The game remained 2-0 in favor of the Titans until the final minute of the second period when Filip Lofdahl scored for the Nordiques.

The Nordiques hope the goal, which bounced off Lofdahl’s body and into the net, gets the second-round pick going. It is his first goal of the season.

“We kind of chuckled about it, I think if anybody gets a little snake-bitten or struggling to score some goals, the motto is get pucks to the net every chance you get and your body to the net,” Howe said. “Sometimes a goal-scorer like Filip, one bounce off his back, off his head or off his bum, if it ends up in the back of the net, you start feeling better about yourself. We hope that one gets him going here.”

The Titans struck for three goals in the third. Glamos scored twice in the period, while Machlitt added his second of the evening. Ole Andersen also scored.

Patrick Pugliese made 17 saves in the victory, while Nordiques goalie Connor Androlewicz made 14 saves.

Goaltender Avery Sturtz rejoined the Maine Nordiques this week after being sent back down by the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL. The 18-year-old did not appear in any regular season games with Sioux City.

The Nordiques and Titans teams meet again Saturday night in Middletown.

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