The Maine Nordiques entered Tuesday’s game ready to continue the momentum of Monday’s victory over the Maryland Black Bears.

Maine scored twice in the first period and added another goal in the third period to notch a 3-2 win over Maryland in a North American Hockey League contest at the Ice World Arena in Edgewood, Maryland.

“When they scored on us to spoil the shutout (on Monday), it was the best thing that could have happened to us,” Maine Nordiques associate head coach Matt Pinchevsky said. “It put our team in the right frame of mind and focused on what they came to do on a different, completely different day.”

The win puts the Nordiques (18-9-1, 37 points) in first place in the East Division, two points ahead of the Johnstown Tomahawks while the third-place Black Bears (12-8-5, 29 points) fall eight points back of the Nordiques.

The Nordiques opened the scoring with two goals in a 26-second span to jump out to a 2-0 lead. Makem Demers notched his fourth goal of the season at the 6:05 mark of the first period, with forward Cannon Green and defenseman Andrew Noel notching the assists.

Then Tyler Gaulin, from near the corner boards, found a streaking Isaiah Fox in the slot. Fox, a Long Island University commit, fired the puck past Maryland goalie Michael Morelli (26 saves). The goal is Fox’s 10th of the season. Stefan Owens earned a secondary assist.

Maine started the second period on nearly a full two-minute power play due to a penalty on the Black Bears for having too many men on the ice with less than a second left in the first period. However, it was Maryland’s special teams that struck, as Luke Mountain scored a shorthanded goal by beating Nordiques goalie Tyriq Outen (22 saves).

Mountain’s goal was the lone score of the second period.

“It was a big-time testament that team wasn’t good enough to beat us five-on-five today,” Pinchevsky said. “The second period was a good example of that. We might have taken our foot off the gas and maybe had a different decision upon the entry (to the offensive zone) that caused the turnover and led to the goal. We don’t need to put Ty in situations like that, he does a great job of keeping pucks out of our net. We don’t need to add how he’s tested in the game.”

Demers notched his second assist of the afternoon, as defenseman James Philpott blasted home a slap shot to give Maine a 3-1 lead. Forward Patrick Schmiedlin also had an assist on Philpott’s fifth goal of the season.

Jude Kurtas closed the deficit for Maryland to 3-2 with six minutes remaining in the game.

BRAUN SIGNS TENDER

The Nordiques announced their first tender signing for the 2021-22 season, 18-year-old forward Brady Braun of the Des Moines Buccaneers of the North American Prospects 18U League.

The Fargo, North Dakota native has eight goals and 27 assists in 22 games this season.

“Brady Braun will compete for a roster spot, but for ourselves we are excited how we used our tenders,” Nordiques coach Nolan Howe said on Monday. “We still have three remaining, as well as two first-round picks in the offseason drafts.”

The Braun signing fulfills the mandatory tender from the NAPHL 18U league. Teams must also sign a tender from the NAPHL 16U league and a player from the North American 3 Hockey League.

Howe said the team has also signed goalie Ansel “Gus” Holt and defenseman Easton Zueger to tenders from the Maine Nordiques Academy 18U team, while forward Jack Kurrle, also of the 18U team, signed a NAHL tender for the second straight year.

Forwards Justin Mexico and Anthony Galante of the 18U team signed NAHL tenders with Amarillo Bulls of the South Division.

A tender is a contract that gives a team a player’s NAHL rights, and the player cannot be drafted or signed by another NAHL team. The player, however, can sign with another team in another junior league.


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