Maine Nordiques forward Tyler Gaulin skates with the puck in a game against the Jamestown Rebels earlier this season.  Ron Morin

Mercyhurst University was always in the running for Maine Nordiques forward Tyler Gaulin.

The school in Erie, Pennsylvania, was a finalist back in the fall of 2020 when the Kingston, New Hampshire, native initially committed to the University of Maine.

Fast forward a year later, the 20-year-old Gaulin was looking for a new opportunity to play Division I college hockey. He quickly reached out to the Lakers coaching staff.

“When I told (Mercyhurst) things weren’t really working out with Maine, they jumped right away with an opportunity. It just worked out,” Gaulin said.

Gaulin said he flipped his commitment from Maine to Mercyhurst earlier in December.

Gaulin committed to Maine when Dennis “Red” Gendron was the head coach. When Gendron died in April, the school hired UMass assistant coach Ben Barr as the new head coach in May.


Gaulin understood that a new coach probably wants to bring in his own recruits.

“I kind of got the feeling (Barr) wanted to get his own players, which I understand,” Gaulin said. “I am not his recruit, so it’s a tricky situation. This stuff happens all the time with new coaches.”

Maine Nordiques coach Matt Pinchevsky said it was important to be there for Gaulin when he reopened his commitment.

Tyler Gaulin skates with the puck in a game against the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks earlier this season at The Colisee. Ron Morin

“I told Tyler, ‘Whatever you are 100 percent on, when we get 100 percent confidence on a decision and a choice you make — he certainly had multiple options that he created for himself — then I will be 100 percent about it,” Pinchevsky said. “I am never going to tell a player what to do, even if they are asking for advice. You help them work through the process because they are going to grow from the most important and probably the most difficult choices that they make. To make a choice that involves the future of his education, his network (opportunities), and his hockey career, we went through a lot of layers before he become 100 percent.”

Gaulin understands he will have to earn his spot next year at Mercyhurst, but the Lakers coaching staff told him they expect him to be an impact player.

“They have an incredible coaching staff who really cares for the players,” Gaulin said. “That’s big for me, and I wanted to get out there for a tour before I made any decisions. I got there for a tour and I really liked it.”


Gaulin is in his second season with the Nordiques and is the team’s leading scorer with six goals and 15 assists in 26 games.

Pinchevsky said he’s helping Gaulin sharpen those skills for the next level.

Tyler Gaulin has committed Mercyhurst University. He was previously committed to the University of Maine. Ron Morin

“His tools, skills, assets will show up in every game he plays in,” Pinchevsky said. “He has worked very hard in developing those skills, but being a 200-foot player, being hard to play against however you can, is something we want to make sure is instilled in his game to be an impact player at the Division I level.”

Pinchevsky stated Gaulin, who’s an assistant captain on the Nordiques, will bring his leadership ability to the Lakers. Gaulin is always bringing positive energy and checking in on his teammates.

Going to Mercyhurst, Gaulin will reunite with a childhood friend, former Maine Nordiques forward Noah Kane.

“He lived in New Hampshire for a little bit, and he played at the youth organization that I did, the (Seacoast) Spartans,” Gaulin said. “We became pretty good friends, and he’s like an older brother. It’s pretty cool how things worked out.”


Kane is in his sophomore year at Mercyhurst and has three goals and five assists in 12 games this season.

Mercyhurst plays in Atlantic Hockey and is currently 4-9-4.

The Nordiques return to action at The Colisee on Friday and Saturday when the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks come to Lewiston. Both games are at 7 p.m.


The University of Maine men’s hockey team has added defenseman Samuel Deurr to its roster for the second half of the season.

The 19-year-old from Chicago, Illinois, comes from the St. Cloud Norseman of the NAHL. He had two goals and eight assists in 22 games this season.

Deurr originally was set to join the Black Bears for the start of the 2022-23 season.

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