LEWISTON — Maine Nordiques coach Matt Pinchevsky was pleased with how the Nordiques played while even-strength Saturday.

Two third-period goals by forward Jack Kurrle gave Maine a 4-2 win over the Maryland Black Bears in a North American Hockey League East Division contest at The Colisee. The win was Pinchevsky’s first since taking over as head coach on Monday, replacing Nolan Howe. The team gave him the game puck after the win.

“I think we could have beat them worse if it was more (time) 5-on-5,” Pinchevsky said. “I think fatigue showed on (Maryland’s) part and it did not really show at the pace we were playing the first two (periods). ”

Pinchevsky wasn’t pleased with the number of penalties that were called during the game.

Maryland (14-5-3, 31 points) scored both goals on the power play.

“The power play was the only thing we did (tonight),” Maryland coach Clint Mylymok said. “(Maine) was better in the neutral zone and they identified yesterday they weren’t good enough being first on pucks. I thought they did a good job in the first (period) against us, but I thought we got better at it in the second. I thought we got careless in the neutral zone at the end (of the game), that cost us.”

After a scoreless first period, things started to pick up in the final 11 minutes of the second period. Maine’s Jack Parker came out of the penalty box and fed a pass to Zach Whitehead, who sprang in for a mini-breakaway to give the Nordiques (7-9-2, 16 points) a 1-0 lead.

Whitehead’s second goal of the season came with 10:30 remaining in the second period.

“Whitehead likes that net (we shoot on in the second period) in this rink,” Pinchevsky said. “Both of his goals have come (shooting at) that net. (His first one) were a 1-on-1 (battle), earlier this season against Danbury, and today he goes on a breakaway. Quite frankly, he made it look easy.”

Maryland’s Matthew Davies later took a penalty and the Nordiques went on their fifth power play of the game. Patrick Schmiedlin scored 22 seconds into the power play to give the Nordiques a 2-0 lead with 9:25 remaining in the middle stanza.

Maryland went to work on its fourth power play of the contest with Schmiedlin in the box. An Elliot Lareau shot deflected off the end boards and off Nordiques’ goalie Avery Sturtz’s right pad and Laker Aldridge shot the puck over Sturtz’s right leg to make it 2-1.

The Black Bears converted again on the man advantage when Ryan Bottrill scored from a point-blank range to tie the game a 2-2 with a minute remaining in the second period.

Maryland was 2-for-5 on the man advantage while Maine was 1-for-6.

“I didn’t mind the emotion, you have to get it out of your system after four straight (games against each other). You are going to have a few battles for sure,” Mylymok said.

Midway through the third period, University of Vermont commit Kurrle’s shot just snuck under the crossbar to give the Nordiques a 3-2 lead. It was Kurrle’s first goal of the season.

“It’s been a tough couple of games trying to get going,” Kurrle said. “I hope we can keep it going here.”

After Sturtz (33 saves) made a diving save, Nordiques forward Tristan Fasig passed the puck to Kurrle, who skated into the offensive zone to fire the puck into the open net for a 4-2 lead.

After scoring, Kurrle crashed into the end boards after he lost an edge.

“I was just pumped up and I was just excited to get back to the bench to see the boys,” Kurrle said.

The Nordiques host the Northeast Generals for two games just before Thanksgiving on Nov. 23 (7 p.m.) and 24 (1 p.m.).

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