LEWISTON — Maine Nordiques coach Matt Pinchevsky said he wanted a strong first period, and his players obliged.

The Nordiques scored three first-period goals in a 4-2 victory over the North American Hockey League East Divisional rival Northeast Generals at The Colisee on Tuesday night. It was the first of 12 games of the season between the two teams.

“We wanted to focus on our starts. We wanted to get the first goal, we wanted to get the first touch, we did win the opening draw, so we won that one as well,” Pinchevsky said. “We wanted to get the first hit; we wanted to play the body. We wanted to let them know it was our ice.”

Second-year forward Patrick Schmiedlin notched a hat trick, including a goal on the power play, and Avery Sturtz made 26 saves in the victory.

“I think we all got the positivity going, and good things started to happen for us,” Schmiedlin said. “I have a bunch of good players on my power play. When they are giving me the puck, I am going to get good passes from those guys.”

One thing the Nordiques (8-9-2, 18 points) didn’t do Tuesday: score the opening goal. Ryan Gordon put the Generals (12-11-0, 24 points) up 1-0 early by tipping home a cross-ice pass from Jared Scott. Defenseman Bryce Cooper had the secondary assist as he found Scott with a stretch pass from the Generals’ defensive zone to the neutral zone.

“It was a really nice play; it’s our controlled breakout (play),” Generals coach Bryan Erikson said. “We haven’t executed it too many times. It was a nice little play. Hopefully, it’s a prelude of more things to come.”

Sturtz said he erased the goal from his mind.

“It’s all a part of being a goalie; you have to have a short memory, even a goal like that, early on,” Sturtz said. “I felt good going into (the game); it’s unfortunate that it happened early on (in the game). I was just saying to (goalie coach) John Racine, if that’s a play later in the game, I am probably making that save since I would be in a rhythm.”

Schmiedlin scored his first goal at the 4:20 mark of the first period from the right circle with a shot that beat Generals goalie Cullen DeYoung through the five-hole. Forward Zion Green and defenseman Matt Connor had the assists.

Brendan Gibbons scored exactly a minute later by crashing in from the right circle and the puck trickled off of DeYoung’s shoulder into the goal to give Maine a 2-1 lead. Defenseman Jacob Pellerin had the assist.

The goal ended DeYoung’s night in net, as he made no saves on two shots, and Nick Anderson (22 saves) replaced him.

“It’s two goals Cullen would want back; he has been a rock for us,” Erikson said. “He played both games Friday and Saturday (against the Jamestown Rebels). I know it’s asking a lot, playing 65 minutes Saturday, and he looked tired. It’s hard to chase the game when you get down 2-1. I thought Nick Anderson — who is an affiliate player from the Charlotte Rush — did a really good job when he came in to settle things down.”

Schmiedlin scored his second goal of the first period on the power play, as he set up in the right circle again and fired home a Johnny Meier pass with 4:16 remaining. Defenseman Nicholas Bernardo also recorded an assist.

“It’s really important for forwards with a skill set like that to have a good shot selection,” Pinchevsky said. “I think (Schmiedlin) found a nice area of the ice to release his shot, and he found the back of the net three times; two of them are from that (right circle).”

Both teams’ power plays couldn’t produce in the second period. Each team had three chances in the frame.

In the third period, after the Nordiques killed off their fourth penalty of the game, the Generals got within one. Jackson McCarthy found defenseman Tyler DesRochers at the top of the point, who blasted a shot past Sturtz nearly eight minutes into the period.

Schmiedlin notched the hat trick right after a power play ended with a shot from the point for a 4-2 lead with six minutes remaining in the game.

“I didn’t know it was 5-on-5; I thought it was on the power play,” Schmiedlin said. “Obviously, when you score three, it’s always nice, but I couldn’t have done it without my teammates.”

The teams meet again at The Colisee on Wednesday at 1 p.m.

“We play each other a ton more going forward, and I know we are both looking to go to Thanksgiving on a high note,” Erikson said. “We have a quick turn around, and so do they. Hopefully, we can pull it together and entertain people tomorrow.”


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