There will be a decisive Game 5.

The New Jersey Titans staved off elimination by with a 3-0 victory over the Maine Nordiques on Friday in Game 4 of a North American Hockey League East Division semifinal series in Middletown, New Jersey.

“It wasn’t our best game and I thought (New Jersey) played their best defensive game of the series,” Nordiques coach Nolan Howe said. “We have to regroup and get back to Maine and play a winner-take-all game in front of our fans.”

The series moves back to The Colisee in Lewiston on Sunday at 7 p.m. The winner will advance to the East Divisional Final, where it will face the winner of the Maryland Black Bears-Johnstown Tomahawks series.

New Jersey’s Connor Pelc scored twice and goalie Christian Steover notched a 29-save shutout — only the second shutout in the entire NAHL playoffs, the first coming in Game 1 of the series when Nordiques goalie Tyriq Outen stopped 38 shots in a 1-0 win.

Howe said the goaltending matchup has been outstanding this series.

“Both goalies give their team a chance to win every night,” Howe said. “It’s a lot of fun. I know they are battling against each other as much as the teams are battling. Stoever came out on top tonight, and we will see what happens in Game 5. But I will put my money on our guy in net any day of the week.”

The Titans opened the scoring late in the first period when Pelc was able to jam the puck over the goal line for a 1-0 lead. The assists went to Stephen Willey and Josh Rule.

Pelc scored again with 8:10 remaining in the second period.

The Nordiques came close to cutting into the lead midway through the third period, but University of Maine commit Tyler Gaulin’s shot hit the post. It was the second time a Maine shot hit the post.

Outen (30 saves) stopped Pelc’s bid for a hat trick with five minutes remaining in the third period after Pelc skated into the offensive zone on a partial breakaway.

Looking to score their first goal, the Nordiques put pressure on the Titans in the final two minutes. Patrick Schmiedlin had a half open net to shoot at with under a minute play, but he was knocked down by New Jersey defenseman Cade Penny. Anthony Calafiore then took control of the puck and shot it down the ice into the Nordiques’ empty net for the Titans’ third goal.


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