Poor starts to periods led to the demise of the Maine Nordiques on Saturday night.

The Nordiques gave up early goals in bunches in both the first and second periods and they couldn’t recover in an 8-2 loss to the New Jersey Titans in an NAHL East Division matchup in Middletown, New Jersey.

Stephen Willey scored both of the division-leading Titans’ first-period goals. Willey’s second goal came on the power play 6:37 into the game, giving the Titans a 2-0 lead. His first goal was 2:52 into the contest.

None of the Nordiques’ 10 first-period shots got past New Jersey goalie Andrew Takacs and Maine went into the first intermission still looking for its first goal.

The game got even farther away from the visitors in the second period, as New Jersey scored three goals in the first three minutes of the second period to extend its lead to 5-0.

David Posma scored from Anthony Calafiore and Brendan Dumas 1:28 into the second, then Calafiore scored from Scott Cremen and Tommy Bannister 27 seconds later. The goal was Calafiore’s ninth of the season and the assist was his 19th of the year.


Anthony Mollica scored from Nick Ring and Michael Young less than a minute later.

Jonny Meiers jumpstarted the Nordiques’ attempt to claw back, scoring consecutive goals to get Maine on the board down 5-2 in the middle frame. Ignat Belov fed him 5:13 into the period of the first goal, then Meiers scored from Patrick Schmiedlin on the power play just past the eight-minute mark.

The Titans killed Maine’s momentum late in the second with two goals in the final five minutes, making it 7-2. Young scored from Ryan Coughlin, then Coughlin scored on the power play from former Twin City Thunder player Levente Keresztes. Ring had the secondary assist for his fourth assist of the game.

Brandon Avezov made it 8-2 midway through the third with his eight goal of the year. Mollica and Chris Carroll notched the assists.

Takacs stopped 36 of 38 shots in the win, while Avery Sturtz played the whole game in goal for the Nordiques, turning away 46 of 54 shots. Maine was 1-for-3 on the power play, and New Jersey 2-for-6.


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