Special teams were the difference Friday night in the Maryland Black Bears’ victory over the Maine Nordiques.

The Black Bears scored a short-handed goal, and the game-winning goal came on the power play in the 3-1 win at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

The Nordiques scored their only goal on the power play but went only 1-for-4 on the man advantage. The Black Bears were 1-for-1.

“We just didn’t have our energy from the beginning, I don’t know how to explain it,” Nordiques coach Nolan Howe said. “We just thought if we came out and went through the motions, we were going to have success. Too little, too late, we had some special team issues there, giving up a short-handed goal and a (power play) goal as well.

“We got to clean those things up tomorrow, but, yeah, a disappointing loss to say the least.”

After a scoreless first period, both teams struck quickly in the second.

Jackson Sterrett put the Black Bears up 1-0 with a short-handed goal 20 seconds into the period.

Maine responded with a power play goal nearly a minute later by Trent Grimshaw.

“We were excited to start the period on the power play, and we wanted to go on and capitalize, but giving up a goal wasn’t part of the plan,” Howe said. “But it was a good response from our team to bear down to tie the game back up 1-1.”

Maryland notched its own power play tally as Aden Bruich put the Black Bears up 2-1 near the 4:30 mark of the period.

Reid Leibold put the Black Bears on top 3-1 near the midway point of third period.

After that goal, Maine started playing better. The Nordiques thought they had a goal, but it was waved off.

“Once we started playing with some desperation and urgency, the message to the boys was we need to do that for 60 minutes, not the last 10,” Howe said. “Obviously, we scored a goal that was called back. Upon video review, it was in the back of the net. We were playing our game the last 10 minutes of the hockey game, we put a lot of pressure on them.”

Goalie Andrew Takacs made 30 saves for the Black Bears for the victory, while Marco Dunio turned aside 23 shots in the loss for the Nordiques.

Prior to the contest, the Nordiques called up defenseman Luke Antonacci from the Maine Nordiques Development Program 18U team.

The two teams meet again Saturday night at 7 p.m. for the second game of the three-game weekend series.


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