Patrick Schmiedlin’s late-game heroics helped the Maine Nordiques snap their five-game losing skid Friday.

Schmiedlin scored twice as the Nordiques defeated the Danbury Hat Tricks 6-5 in overtime in a North American Hockey League East Division contest at the Danbury Ice Arena.

The Nordiques came back from a one-goal deficit twice in the third period to force overtime. Schmiedlin, who has committed to play at Colorado College, put home a pass from Makem Demers for the game-winning goal less than a minute into the overtime.

“Being mindful of the situation and how we execute our blueprint was the reason (we won),” Maine Nordiques associate head coach Matt Pinchevsky said. “They had gone over the plan and they believed in the plan. I would say it had everything to do with (our) mentality, and they remained mindful through the entire game.”

Tristan Fasig and Aidan Connolly each had a goal and an assist for Maine.

The second-place Nordiques improve to 29-18-1, while the Jr. Hat Tricks are now 16-18-3 and are in sixth place in the East Division.

The Nordiques had a strong first period, which was started by Fasig, who opened the scoring early in the  period with a breakaway goal that beat Danbury goalie Edvard Nordlund (37 saves). Connolly and defenseman Andrew Noel each had an assist on the goal.

“Tristan likes to start us off; he’s highly focused at the start of the game and throughout the game,” Pinchevsky said. “I believe he has scored on every single team in our division multiple times at this point. Nothing new there out of someone who is trying to help his team win every single night.”

Defenseman Luke Antonacci’s slapshot got past Nordlund to extend the Nordiques’ lead to 2-0 with about five minutes remaining in the first. Forwards Cannon Green and Tyler Gaulin had assists on Antonacci’s goal.

Danbury had a chance to strike on a power play at the end of the first period, but Maine was able to kill it off.

The Jr. Hat Tricks found the back of the net 6:10 into the second period when Jackson Hughes scored his first goal of the season.

Maine responded on the ensuing faceoff as Connolly netted his 10th goal of the season off assists by defenseman Matt Connor and Fasig.

The Jr. Hat Tricks scored two quick goals to tie the game. Robert Hyde scored a power play goal at the 13:04 mark of the second, and a little more than a minute later Shane Murphy’s goal evened the game at 3-3.

Then, early in the third period, Alex Duncan skated hard to the net and went top shelf to give Danbury its first lead of the game, 4-3.

Enter Schmiedlin, who used his speed to pot his first goal of the game, tying score at 4-4.

D’Agostino responded for Danbury, letting go a slap shot from the right circle that beat Nordiques goalie Tyriq Outen (28 saves) cleanly to give the Jr. Hat Tricks a 5-4 lead.

Maine’s Jack Strauss forced overtime by planting himself in front of the crease, then winning a battle with Danbury defenders and putting the puck in the back of the net.

“Jack Strauss going to the dirty areas (of the ice) is where (his) goals are going to come from for him,” Pinchevsky said. “Again, execution of the blueprint, man-to-man, player-for-player, line-to-line, led to a long overdue victory. Back to work tomorrow.”

The teams meet again tomorrow at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3:30 p.m. in Danbury.

Pinchevsky has been the acting head coach the past few weeks. The Nordiques announced this week that head coach Nolan Howe has taken some family leave time related to the recent birth of his second child. No timetable was given for Howe’s return to the the bench.

Maine Nordiques Prep Academy 18U coach Nick Skerlick is helping the NAHL team’s coaches this weekend in Danbury. General manager Eric Solty also has assisted Pinchevsky with coaching duties during Howe’s absence, which began three weeks ago.

The 18U team earned an at-large bid Friday to the USA Hockey’s 18U Tier I National Tournament, which takes place April 28-May 3 in St. Louis, Missouri.


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