The Maine Nordiques offense sputtered Friday night in the third period against the Maryland Black Bears.

Maine (2-3-0, 4 points) failed to score in the final 20 minutes while the Black Bears (4-2-1, 9 points) scored twice in a 5-3 win at the Piney Orchard Ice Arena in Odenton, Maryland.

“The third period we got a little careless with the puck,” Maine Nordiques coach Nolan Howe said. “We gave up too many odd-man rushes against. We are a young team and we need to take these opportunities to get better.”

Elliot Lareau and Bobby Staring each had a goal and an assist for the Black Bears.

Forward Dom Marcinkevics had two goals while Zion Green had two assists in the game for Maine.

“(Marcinkevics) has some firepower to his game and he plays with a lot of tenaciously,” Howe said. “A beautiful shot on the first goal and a nice move on the second one.”

Both teams came out strong in the first period. The Black Bears jumped out to the early lead when Sean Kilcullen found the back of the net 3:30 into the game. About two minutes later, Brad McNeil put Maryland up 2-0 on a penalty shot.

The Nordiques responded when defenseman Nicholas Bernardo scored a power-play goal. Auburn native Reese Farrell and Zion Green picked up the assists.

Maine was 1 for 4 on the power play and Maryland was 0 for 4.

Marcinkevics scored on a breakaway to tie the game at 2-2 eight minutes into the first period. Defenseman Evan Orloff and forward Zach Whitehead picked up the assists.

Howe liked how the team responded to the quick deficit.

“It was a good response, we could have folded the tent, but that’s not our makeup,” Howe said. “Our guys continued to fight and continued to work.”

Marcinkevics put the Nordiques up 3-2 midway through the second period. Liam Walsh and Green notched assists.

Laker Aldridge tied the game at 3-3 with under six minutes remaining in the second period.

Staring scored to give the Black Bears a 4-3 lead early in the third period.

With under a minute remaining in the game, Lareau scored an empty-net goal to cap the scoring for the Black Bears.

Howe said goalie Avery Sturtz (36 saves) kept the Nordiques in the game. Maryland goalie Michael Morelli made 21 saves in the win.

The North American Hockey League East Division rivals meet again Saturday at 7 p.m. in Odenton.

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