LEWISTON  After Friday night’s six-goal outburst, the Maine Nordiques played defensively Saturday to defeat the Northeast Generals, 3-2, at Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

All three goals came in the first period for the Nordiques.

“We came out on our toes jumping, we wanted to make sure we had a better start to the hockey game,” Nordiques coach Nolan Howe said. “That’s one area I thought we could improve. I thought like they done the last several weeks, they responded to that challenge and we got out to a fast start.”

The slow start wasn’t what the Generals were looking for.

“At the end of the day, anytime you play a period as bad as we did in that first period, it’s going to be hard to climb out of,” Generals coach Bryan Erikson said. “I thought we did a very good job of regrouping after period one. Especially yesterday, the second period was as bad as it was.”

The Nordiques scored three times in that second period on Friday.

After receiving a pass from Luke Antonacci, Tyler Gaulin chipped the puck into the offensive zone and chased it down to score the game’s first goal. Gaulin was able to beat Generals goalie Hugo Haas (25 saves). The goal came three seconds after a Nordiques power play expired.

Auburn native Reese Farrell scored the second goal of the first period, as there was a mad scramble in front of Haas’s crease. The goal came just past the 10-minute mark, with Stefan Owens and Cannon Green getting the assists.

Gaulin recorded his second point of the night when at the left faceoff dot in the offensive zone he made a cross-ice pass to Jack Strauss and Strauss beat Haas cleanly in the final minute of the first period.

It was Strauss’ second goal of the weekend.

“It was huge for me with all the work I did last summer, but that’s what matters right now,” Strauss said. “I had a great pass from (Gaulin) and that was huge, and for personally that just wants me to keep on going.”

The Generals found their footing in the second period early when Jonathan Young went bar-down to cut Northeast’s deficit to 3-1. The assist went to former Bowdoin College player Andy Stoneman.

Nearly six minutes into the middle frame, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute commit Eric Fawkes beat Nordiques goalie Avery Sturtz at his low blocker.

The Nordiques took a timeout after Fawkes’ goal and Erikson thought that was the turning point of the game.

“They took three minutes of zone possession right after that timeout,” Erikson said. “It took a couple of minutes for our guys to adjust to what we talked about between the first and second (periods), which wasn’t a lot. It was ‘Guys, I don’t know what we are doing.’”

Howe just wanted to settle his team down.

“It was an area that we wanted to improve on last season, sometimes we let that snowball effect happen,” Howe said. “(Assistant) coach Matt Pinchevsky decided if we felt we were losing some traction we were going to take that time to regroup our young men. Quite honestly, we took a couple deep breaths and just relax, get back to our details.”

Sturtz was able to settle down after the goal as he made 28 saves on the night.

“It wasn’t the start to the second (period) that you want, but they were buzzing out there. We were trying to get through that initial push by them,” Sturtz said. “Once we got through there, I kind of settled in and obviously ending the second felt really good where we were at. I knew win the period, win the game in the third and that’s exactly what we did.”

It was a back and forth third period. Each team took a penalty in the final two minutes to play 4-on-4. The Generals did pull their goalie after the Nordiques penalty to make it a 5-on-4 situation, which really became a 5-on-three-and-a-half situation as Sturtz lost his stick in the final 10 seconds.

“Sometimes you got to do what you got to keep the puck out of the net,” Sturtz said. “I knew there wasn’t much time left out there, you just had to hope the time ran out quick.”


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