Tyriq Outen was big when the Maine Nordiques needed him.

The 20-year-old goalie stopped 32 saves and was two minutes away from recording a shutout as the Nordiques defeated the first-place Johnstown Tomahawks 4-1 at the 1st Summit Arena at Cambria County War Memorial in a North American Hockey League East Division contest on Friday in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

Outen also recorded an assist on Cannon Green’s empty-net goal with a little over a minute remaining in the game.

“I thought we played well on both sides of the puck,” Nordiques associate head coach Matt Pinchevsky said. “I thought we got the goaltending and when we receive that this year, we are a very dangerous team to play against because we got that confidence in our net from both of our goaltenders. Ty really stole the show in that 5-on-3 (penalty kill in the second period). He outplayed his counterpart in Josh Graziano tonight.”

The win puts the Nordiques (32-18-1, 65 points) within four points of the Tomahawks (32-9-5, 69 points) for first place in the East Division, but the Tomahawks have five games in hand.

Nordiques forward Stefan Owens continued his stellar play, scoring two goals, which gives him 23 for the season. He’s now tied for fourth in the entire league in goals.

Aidan Connolly opened the scoring as the Nordiques forward chipped in his 14th goal of the season past Tomahawks goalie Graziano (28 saves). The goal came just past the five-minute mark of the first period. Assists went to Jackson Vercellono and Tristan Fasig.

“The first period, we were dialed in, we wanted to make sure were a responsive team,” Pinchevsky said. “…The first period I thought there was a high-level of communication, support and a ton of care factor on the ice. The guys really cared to take care of the puck and be in proper position in our details with and without the puck.”

The Nordiques had a power play late in the first period that carried over into the second, but they couldn’t convert. Maine then got in penalty trouble early in the second period, including Outen, who was called for tripping. Vercellono served the minor penalty.

Johnstown had multiple shots on the power play but Outen stopped them all, including a sprawling glove save. Maine successfully killed off the 5-on-3.

Owens scored his first goal of the game with just under seven minutes remaining in the second period as Isaiah Fox set the goal up.

While on the power play with just under four minutes remaining in the middle frame, Owens’ slap shot from the left circle gave the Nordiques a 3-0 lead. Fox and Cannon Green recorded the assists.

“He has every reason to be confident. He’s a player that’s going to continue what he does to convince Division I schools that he deserves an opportunity at the DI level because it’s that apparent and obvious that he translates to that level,” Pinchevsky said of Owens. “He will make a Division I program really happy.”

The Nordiques were 1-for-3 on the man advantage while the Tomahawks were scoreless on three chances.

Brendan Clark finally put the Tomahawks on the board after Outen missed a poke-check attempt with two minutes remaining in the game.

The teams meet again in Johnstown on Saturday night at 7 p.m.


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