For nearly 56 minutes, Kenai River Brown Bears goaltender Landon Pavlisin stonewalled the Maine Nordiques.

The Nordiques, though, scored twice in the final four minutes to take a 3-2 victory over the Brown Bears, the first-place team in the North American Hockey League’s Midwest Division, in front of 956 fans at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Friday.

There was no panic from the Nordiques when the scoreboard didn’t reflect the effort the team was putting in.

“I think there’s a believe that we have that we continue to do things the right way … that they would be rewarded,” Nordiques head coach Nolan Howe said. “We have a pretty mature bench, the young men are growing up as the season progresses here, but I know there’s a lot of faith in what we are doing in the (dressing) room and a lot of believe in each other.

“So, in a situation like that when we are playing as well as we are, we try to reinforce the boys to stick with it, but I thought they did a good job sticking with the game plan and executing down the stretch.

Maine fired 51 shots on Pavlisin, who finished with 48 saves.

Connor Androlewicz made 25 saves for his fourth win in goal for the Nordiques.

Kenai opened the scoring with a little more than three minutes to play in the opening frame as Peter Morgan potted his first goal of the year.

Defenseman Jacob Crespo tied the game for the Nordiques nearly six minutes into the second period.

The Brown Bears, who had the league’s seventh-best power play going into the game, struck early in the third period on a goal by Logan Ritchie.

Maine, which entered with the ninth-best power play, tied the game up at two when defenseman Cale Dubrul found the back of the net with less than four minutes to play.

“We scored a real nice power play goal, a lot of hard work there,” Howe said. “We had some success shooting from the point today, so we wanted to continue shoot pucks and we were rewarded.”

Maine was 1-for-4 on the power play, while Kenai River was 1-for-2. The two teams are now tied for sixth in the league on the power play at 22.4 percent.

The Nordiques rode the momentum, and a minute later Kevin Pitts, who had four shots in the game up to that point, scored on his fifth to give Maine the lead.

“So many of our shots were created off of our turnovers in the neutral zone and counter-attacking off the rush,” Howe said. “Once we put pucks to the net, we were able to retrieve them and we were very consistent. We knew if we kept shooting, we would be able to wear the goalie out and we were able to do that.”

The Nordiques will go for the sweep of the Brown Bears on Saturday when the two teams meet at 7 p.m. at the Colisee.


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