LEWISTON — After coming off Friday’s loss to the Northeast Generals, the Maine Nordiques relied on veteran presence Saturday night.

The Nordiques split the weekend series with the Generals with a 3-1 victory at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

Isaiah Fox, Stefan Owens and Caden Pattison, all three returning players from the 2019-20 team scored in the victory.

“Veteran guys coming through again. They know what it takes to win in this league and they weren’t going to let us be denied,” Nordiques coach Nolan Howe said.

The Generals opened the scoring in the first period when University of New Hampshire commit Aidan Curran put the initial shot on goal from the left circle. Nordiques goaltender Avery Sturtz made the save with his left pad, but the rebound kicked into the slot, where Liam McCanney sent the puck into the half-open net.

The goal came eight minutes into the period.

Howe was pleased with Sturtz’s 33-save effort in the game, including making that initial save on McCanney’s goal.

“That’s on us,” Howe said. “He made an unbelievable first save. We have to clean up our net-front coverage. Again, all three goals they scored this weekend were in front of our cage. We will work on that Monday and get ourselves ready for (the) Danbury (Jr. Hat Tricks on Tuesday).”

Maine (7-2-0, 14 points) started the second period strong as defenseman James Philpott found Fox heading into the offensive zone and Fox’s backhand shot slid through Hugo Haas’ five-hole to tie the game.

The tally came 73 seconds into the middle frame.

Fox just committed to Long Island University this past week, the newest NCAA Division I hockey program.

Fox continued to attack the net in the second period. Maine commit Tyler Gaulin found Fox on a 2-on-1 where Fox dove at a puck that just went over the crossbar. Haas was able to stop Fox later in the period on a breakaway.

In the third period, Fox found his linemate Stefan Owens in the slot and Owens fired the puck past Haas to give the Nordiques a 2-1 lead. Just like the second period, it was a quick goal, just 94 seconds into the period.

“I was looking for Gaulin honestly for a pass,” Owens said. “When the defenseman slid over I pulled (the puck) back and shot it. Thankfully it went in.”

Gaulin joined the top line with Owens and Fox while Cannon Green went to the second line with Aiden Connolly and Ignat Belov. Belov took Reese Farrell’s place on the second line as Farrell was a scratch Saturday.

“We are trying to find something different that might work for the team,” Owens said. “I guess it did today.”

The Nordiques looked to extend the lead with about seven minutes remaining in the game, but Haas made two point-blank saves on Green.

Haas made 31 saves.

The Generals (2-5-0, 4 points) pressured in the final two-plus minutes as they had two offensives zones faceoffs. The second faceoff came with 36 seconds remaining. They ran a set play but the shot went wide.

Caden Pattison capped the game with an empty net goal with one second remaining.

The Nordiques were 0-for-1 on the man advantage while the Generals were 0-for-2.

Howe liked the team’s discipline on the weekend as the two penalties Saturday were the only two they took all weekend.

“It was something we wanted to focus on coming into the year,” Howe said. “We play fast and we are in peoples faces and we try to do it legally. We try to play between the whistles and I was proud of our discipline this weekend.”

Maine hosts the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks on Tuesday at 7 p.m.


Comments are not available on this story.