When it comes to a Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks-Maine Nordiques game, one thing is for certain, it will be a close game.

Friday was no different at the Danbury (Conn.) Ice Arena as the Nordiques came away with a 3-2 victory in a North American Hockey League East Division contest. It was the fourth time in six games played this season that it was a one-goal game. Maine is now 3-1 in those games.

The win helps the Nordiques (27-13-1, 55 points) keep pace with the first-place Johnstown Tomahawks (27-7-4, 58 points) for first place in the division. The Tomahawks have a three-point advantage and three games in hand on the Nordiques.

Second-year forward Cannon Green scored his sixth goal of the season with 1:19 remaining for the game-winner as he jammed home the puck past Danbury goalie Andrew Puchora (36 saves). Assists went to fellow second-year forwards Makem Demers and Stefan Owens.

The goal extended the trio’s three-game point streak as they have racked up six goals and eight assists in that stretch.

Maine had a strong first period, scoring back-to-back goals early in the frame. Aidan Connolly, who is heading to nearby Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, put the Nordiques ahead 1-0 at the three-minute mark, with Andrew Noel notching the assist. It was Connolly’s eighth goal of the season.

Just 19 seconds later, Caden Pattison blasted a slap shot past Puchora, who’s committed to the University of Minnesota.

At one point in the first period, the Nordiques had a 16-4 shot advantage.

The Jr. Hat Tricks (14-14-2, 30 points) ended the first period with a flurry of shots. One of them found the back of the net as Nolan Barrett scored on the power play with 1:41 remaining in the frame, with Shane Murphy picking up the assist.

The Jr. Hat Tricks were 1-for-3 on the power play while the Nordiques were scoreless on four chances.

Just after Nordiques forward Ignat Belov’s penalty ended, Jason Kleinhans tied the game as he beat Maine goalie Avery Sturtz (22 saves) bar down at the 7:09 mark of the second period. It was his fifth goal of the season.

Kleinhans’ goal was the only score of the second period but the Nordiques nearly scored in the final 10 seconds of the period.

The second game of the three-game series is Saturday at 3:30 p.m. and the series wraps from the Danbury Ice Arena Sunday at noon.

COLISEE TO HOST FANS STARTING NEXT WEEKEND

The Nordiques announced Friday afternoon that fans will be allowed back at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee starting next weekend when the Nordiques host the Tomahawks for a two-game series on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. each night.

The arena will allow 1,000 fans for the games, with a limited menu at the concession stand and face masks must be worn at all times inside the Colisee.

Ticket information will be released next week on the Nordiques website and social media platforms.

The Nordiques had a limited number of fans in attendance at the beginning of the season, but have had no fans since Oct. 31.


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