Northeast Generals goaltender Joey Stanizzi stops a shot by Isaiah Fox of the Maine Nordiques during Friday’s season opener at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston. Ron Morin photo

LEWISTON — Head coach Nolan Howe thought the Maine Nordiques had improved their depth over last season.

If Friday’s season opener was any indication, the 2020-21 Nordiques have four lines that can produce offense. Each line had a goal, and the team scored a power play goal and a shorthanded goal in a 6-2 victory over the Northeast Generals at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee. in the North American Hockey League season opener.

“The thing I love, it doesn’t matter who puts the puck in the net,” Howe said. “The team energy, guys were willing to do whatever it takes. I look back at some of the huge blocks we had, whether it’s (Isaiah) Fox, Tristan Fasig, (Connor) Wood, you can go down the list, guys were sacrificing and doing whatever it took.”

Tyler Gaulin and Caden Pattison each had a goal and an assist to lead the Nordiques offensively, and goalie Tyriq Outen made 30 saves.

The Generals jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period when Liam McCanney scored from the slot.

The Nordiques offense started clicking midway through the second when Wood’s shot from the high-slot slipped through the pads of Generals goalie Joey Stanizzi 11:37 into the period. Donte Pierre — like Wood, a newcomer to the Nordiques — had the assist on the goal.


While the Nordiques didn’t score in the first period, Generals coach Bryan Erikson thought Maine’s early power play set the tone for the rest of the game.

“It seemed that power play, even though (they) didn’t convert in the first period, kind of changed the momentum,” Erikson said. “(They) got possession and kind of didn’t let up. In the second half of the second period, they scored three goals in a minute and three seconds, that’s less than ideal.”

After tying the game at 1-1, Maine went on the power play off the ensuing faceoff when Northeast’s Eric Fawkes was called for high-sticking. The Nordiques took advantage of their third power play of the game when Fox fired the puck past Stanizzi 26 seconds after Wood’s goal to give Maine a 2-1 lead.

Donte Pierre (91) of the Maine Nordiques knocks Anthony Messuri of the Northeast Generals off the puck during the first period at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Friday. Ron Morin photo

Then the Nordiques’ energy line that flashed some skill as Caden Pattison made as pass to Jack Strauss in the neutral zone, and Strauss took the puck into the offensive zone with speed and ripped a shot cleanly past Stanizzi.

That goal was the Nordiques’ third in a 63-second span.

“We definitely have a little skill to us, too,” Pattison said. “We like to call ourselves the jack of all trades, but, yeah, we had a very good game today. Hopefully we build off it tomorrow to keep it up.”


In the third period, the Nordiques prep line — players who played at prep schools last season — kept the momentum going. There was a scramble in front of Stanizzi’s crease on which Auburn native Reese Farrell (Northfield Mount Hermon) notched a goal a little more than three minutes into the period. Assists went to Aidan Connolly (Dexter Southfield School) and Tyler Gaulin (Berwick Academy).

Former Bowdoin College player Andy Stoneman, who left the school because of the coronavirus pandemic’s affect on the college season, temporarily kept the Generals in the game by scoring a power play goal to cut the deficit to 4-2.

Gaulin responded for the Nordiques seven-plus minutes into the third period to extend the lead to 5-2. Connolly recorded his second assist of the period on the goal.

After a slow start in the first period, the prep line started to get things going in the final two periods.

“We were competing all over the ice and we focused on our details and structure,” Gaulin said. “We stayed composed, and once we kept getting shots on net, we would start producing.”

Pattison added an empty-net, shorthanded goal.

Stanizzi made 41 saves in the loss.

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