For now, the Maine Nordiques and L/A Nordiques are on pause.

The North American Hockey League and the North American 3 Hockey League followed the NHL’s lead by suspending their seasons because on the coronavirus.

“This is an unprecedented time and situation,” NAHL commissioner Mark Frankenfield said in a news release. “First and foremost, we want to be sure we are doing what is best for the hockey community: players, teams, fans, and officials. In the past 24 hours, it became clear that we needed to follow a path that was consistent with what has transpired in the hockey world, particularly with our partners at USA Hockey, the NCAA, the NHL and the USHL.”

The Maine Nordiques of the NAHL, who have no more regular season home games, were scheduled to play the New Jersey Titans this weekend in Middletown, New Jersey.

The L/A Nordiques of the NA3HL were set to face the New England Stars in the opening round of the Coastal Division playoffs. The Nordiques were slated to host Game 2 on Saturday, while the Stars were scheduled to host Game 1 on Friday and, if necessary, Game 3 on Sunday.

The two leagues are taking the situation day-by-day.

“We will continue to monitor the situation daily with everyone involved and we understand that given the current landscape, things could change at any moment,” Frankenfield said. “Our number one goal is to resume play as soon as possible, but only when we feel it is safe for all of the parties involved. We are currently speaking with the NA3HL members and leadership to determine a further course of action.”

If the NA3HL decides to play within the next 30 days, the L/A Nordiques may need to have game two moved to a different location because the Androscoggin Bank Colisee is adhering to Gov. Janet Mills’ mandate of limiting large gatherings.

“Today, Governor Janet Mills and the Maine CDC recommended ‘social distancing’ for gatherings of 250 people or more for the next 30 days. Androscoggin Bank Colisee will honor that recommendation immediately,’’ Colisee owner and operator Jim Cain said.

Additionally, the Maine Cheer Classic scheduled for Saturday, March 28, at the Colisee has been postponed.

OTHER LEAGUES AFFECTED

The Tier I United States Hockey League was the first junior hockey league to suspended its season Thursday.

The United States Premier Hockey League, in which the Twin City Thunder play, is suspending its Tier II National Collegiate Development Conference playoffs, which were slated to start this weekend. The Tier III Premier and Elite leagues’ national championships that were taking place at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, have been canceled.

The seasons of the Twin City Thunder’s NCDC and Premier teams have already concluded, so they are not affected by the changes.

The three Canadian Hockey League leagues — the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League and the Western Hockey League – all suspended their seasons.

The International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Under-18 Championships have been canceled.

MOOSE WON’T PLAY

USA Hockey announced Wednesday night that its Tier I and Tier II boys and girls national midget hockey championships have been canceled.

The Maine Moose, based in Hallowell, were going to send their boys 16U and 18U teams to the Tier II national tournaments in Irving, California.

“We are still gathering a lot of information from USA Hockey to keep everybody in the loop,” Moose owner Ben Gray, who also is a co-owner of the Twin City Thunder, said. “It’s better to be safe than sorry, but it has been hectic just trying to get everyone to understand what’s going on. Now, it’s trying to get everyone taken care of, and make sure they get everything canceled.”

Gray said hotel rooms and flights were reserved leading up to the tournaments.

Both the 16U and 18U teams won the Maine Amateur Hockey Association’s state tournaments. Both teams defeated the Maine Gladiators in the state finals.

The 16U team includes local players several area players: Spencer Berube (of Litchfield and Poland/Leavitt/Oak Hill/Gray-New Gloucester), Derek Wolverton (Lewiston, North Yarmouth Academy), Jack Morrill (Winthrop, Kents Hill) and Jacob Godbout (Monmouth, Cony/Hall-Dale/Monmouth).

Local players are the 18U team include Dominic Chasse (of Lewiston and the Twin City Thunder/Twin City Lightning), James Belleau (Lewiston, Lewiston High School), Benny Lane-Robichaud (Mechanic Falls, Twin City Lightning), Nate Marcotte (Sabattus, Twin City Lightning) and Gage Doucette (Auburn, Twin City Lightning).

“Just be able to go to a national championship and get the experience is impressive,” Gray said. “So, for some kids it might be only a one-time opportunity, where others who have been fortunate to have gone multiple times. We just don’t know. I am sure it’s discouraging for some of those age-outs who will not have that opportunity.”

The Moose have won Tier II national titles at the 18U level in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. At the 16U level, the Moose captured the 2015-16 national championship, while the 14U team claimed the 2017-18 title.


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