Ben Charette went almost two months without a start.

The New Jersey Titans goalie didn’t appear rusty Friday night, stopping 30 shots in a 3-1 win over the Maine Nordiques in an NAHL East Division game at Middletown Ice World Arena in Middletown, New Jersey.

Maine Nordiques (10-17-3, 23 points) goalie Avery Sturtz made 46 saves in the loss.

“Avery Sturtz stood on his head,” Nordiques coach Matt Pinchevsky said. “Anyone watching this at the (NCAA Division I) level watching should take notice; he was the better goaltender tonight. It was our team that had two or three more errors in front of him. The Titans are a good team and stuck with their game plan.”

David Postma scored with a little over six minutes remaining in the first period to give the Titans (23-10-1, 47 points) a 1-0 lead.

Pinchevsky said the Nordiques had another solid first period despite being down 1-0.


“That’s kind of our thing, we do start strong, and I thought we backed it up. I thought we followed through pretty well,” Pinchevsky said. “We were one shot away from winning the first period. Maybe not on the scoreboard, but in a lot of categories. We didn’t get that block (that) allowed them to find the back of the net.

The Nordiques lost defenseman Jacob Pellerin late in the first period when he took a five-minute major for checking from behind and was handed a game misconduct. He also received a five-minute major for fighting Anthony Calafiore. In addition to getting a major for fighting, Calafiore received a game misconduct for instigating.

Pinchevsky said he reminded the team during the first intermission what he wanted to see from the penalty kill to start the second period.

Maine killed all seven penalties in the game.

After both teams didn’t score in the second period, each scored early in the third period.

Rocco Testa-Basi beat Sturtz to give the Titans a 2-0 lead 3:15 into the period.


Nordiques forward Tyler Gaulin scored his seventh goal of the season 16 seconds later to cut the deficit to 2-1. Brendan Kimball had the assist.

“Anytime you score a goal from the right spots, which is the grade-A area (from the slot), you know the boys are buying in on what is being instructed,” Pinchevsky said. “They are willing to get to those dirty areas and score those goals. We want to make sure pucks are delivered there and we make plays off of those deliveries. That’s what Tyler Gaulin did; he generated a lot of offense for us.”

Tommy Bannister scored his 16th goal of the season to give the Titans a 3-1 lead in the middle of the third period.

The Nordiques and Titans meet again Saturday at 7 p.m. in Middletown.


Kyle Shapiro put aside his coaching duties for one night.

Shapiro, one of the Titans’ assistant coaches, signed an amateur tryout agreement with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and served as the team’s backup goalie in a 3-2 loss against the New York Islanders on Thursday night. The Devils’ starter, Jon Gillies, grew up in South Portland.

Shapiro played three seasons at University of Southern Maine from 2014-17 before transferring to New England College for his senior season in 2017-18. He went 17-40-1 in his three years with USM.

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