The Maine Nordiques were stonewalled Saturday afternoon.

Aaron Randazzo — a St. Cloud State University commit — made 23 saves to lead the Maryland Black Bears to a 2-1 victory over Nordiques in Odenton, Maryland.

“It was the same mindset (from Friday night) for us, getting pucks back to the point and let those guys be shooters,” Nordiques coach Nolan Howe said. “I don’t think we created enough traffic in front of him today, compared to last night. We scored off a tip, we scored off a rebound, there was constant bodies in his face and a lot of chaos being created in front of him.

“I thought tonight, while we did have some chances, a lot of our opportunities came from the perimeter and we weren’t able to get those grade-A (chances).”

Nordiques goalie Avery Sturtz also was stellar, stopping 36 shots in the losing effort.

Howe was pleased with his goaltending in the two-game weekend series.

“We were very happy with Avery’s play, and Wesley (Mankowski) last night was good for us as well,” Howe said. “Certainly, those guys gave us every opportunity to win both games. Avery had some huge saves, specifically the save at the end of the second period on the breakaway was absolutely massive keeping us within one going into the third period.”

Reid Leibold gave the Black Bears a 1-0 lead midway through the first period with a goal set up by Mikhail Gonchar and Logan Kons.

The game remained 1-0 until the final minute of the game when Maryland’s Aaron Swanson put home an empty net goal to give the Black Bears a 2-0 lead. Assists went to Jackson Sterrett and Garrett Szydlowski.

Timmy Kent made a late push for the Nordiques, scoring a power play goal with 11 seconds remaining in the game. Noah Kane and Stefan Owens were credited with the assists.

The Nordiques were 1-for-5 on the man advantage. Maryland was 0-for-3.

“For me, there’s a lot of teams that give up the empty-netter down 2-0 with 50-something seconds left to go, and that’s the end of the game right there,” Howe said. “Well, our boys continue to show why we are so proud of them, and certainly something the fans can be proud of, there’s absolutely no quit in them. A lot of positive things to build off of, but certainly proud of them for sticking with it and continuing to push until the final buzzer.”

The Nordiques return to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee next weekend for a three-game set against the Northeast Generals, Friday through Sunday.


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