LEWISTON — There’s no other way to put it: Maine Nordiques forward Brendan Gibbons is on fire.

Coming into Friday’s game against the Johnstown Tomahawks, he had 21 points (15 goals and six assists) in his past 16 games. He added to that total with two goals and three assists in an 8-3 win over the Johnstown Tomahawks at The Colisee.

“I am just finding my game,” Gibbons said. “I am sticking around the net and playing with (linemates Aidan Connolly) and Zion (Green). How our defense is playing right now and (goalie Avery Sturtz), it’s really easy for me and our line as a whole. We just have to keep rolling.”

The Nordiques (21-25-10, 52 points) are out of playoff contention, but they want to play spoilers in the NAHL East Division with a little over a week remaining in the regular season. Coming into the game, the Tomahawks (31-20-6, 68 points) were in second place but dropped to third place after the game as the Jamestown Rebels defeated the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks to leapfrog the Tomahawks in the standings.

The Nordiques are 6-2-2 in the past 10 games.

“We want to finish strong, in your junior career strong, and that’s what we are doing,” Nordiques forward Tyler Gaulin said. “We have a good chance to sabotage some (team’s) season. So why not have fun with it?”


Gaulin had two goals in the game, as did forward Theo Thrun.

Gibbons picked up where he left off from Sunday’s hat trick in a 5-3 win over Northeast Generals when he gave the Nordiques a 1-0 lead 1:45 into the first period of Friday’s contest.

Zion Green set up the goal on a 2-on-1 and made a cross-ice pass to Gibbons, who shot the puck past Johnstown goalie Matthew O’Donnell (21 saves).

Green later scored his own goal.

“When you watch Zion, and he’s shooting in a game, he will actually capitalize or have a good chance of scoring a goal,” Maine Nordiques coach Matt Pinchevsky said. “He has a strong passing bias, and that’s why everybody loves playing with him. I liked he was able to contribute (with a goal and three assists) tonight.”

Cole Bianchin tied the game at 1-1 when he deflected the puck from a Tyle DesRoches pass past Sturtz nearly seven minutes into the first period.


Jacob Bedal tapped home a Jake Black pass to give Johnstown a 2-1 advantage at the 12:14 mark of the first period.

Frank Jenkins’ slap shot from the top of the right circle put the Tomahawks up a 3-1 two minutes after Bedal’s goal.

“I don’t think we played our best game, by any means,” Johnstown coach Mike Leitizia said. “I thought we were fortunate to have a lead after the first period. I think we played sloppily, and in the second period, we spent a lot of time in the penalty box.”

Maine started the second period with 1:46 of power-play time, but it couldn’t convert. The Nordiques did have four full power plays in the period.

Gaulin scored his first goal of the frame on the man-advantage from the top of the slot six minutes into the second period. Defenseman Nicholas Bernardo passed to Gaulin after keeping the puck in the zone.

“When you play with the guys on the power play, it’s easy to do well,” Gaulin said. “Especially my power-play unit with Reese (Farrell) and (Nicholas) Bernardo, and it’s really easy to look well and they found me. It was a nice screen by Aidan (Connolly).”


Gibbons set up the tying goal when he skated to the Zamboni entrance and passed it back to the slot, where Gaulin came to crash the shot. Gaulin then put the puck in the net with 1:27 remaining in the second period. Connolly had the secondary assist.

Thrun scored the Nordiques’ second power-play goal of the second period 40 seconds after Gaulin’s to give Maine a 4-3 lead. Thrun’s shot from the top of the slot went through traffic and past O’Donnell. Green and Gibbons had an assist.

The Nordiques were 2-for-6 on the power play and the Tomahawks went 1-for-5.

Sturtz stopped all five shots he faced in the second period.

“It’s tough to stay in the game when there are not as many shots,” Sturtz said. “But I had to stay ready when (Johnstown) was going to have a scoring chance and hopefully make that next stop.”

Sturtz had 22 saves in the game.


The Nordiques kept the scoring going in the third period. First, Connolly’s pass from behind the goal line went to Gibbons in the slot. Gibbons quickly shot the puck past O’Donnell nearly seven minutes into the frame for his second goal of the game to make it a 5-3 lead.

Later, Green received a pass from Connolly right in front of the crease, he settled the puck down and with a quick swipe with the stick put the puck in the net. The goal stretched the lead to 6-3.

Connolly made it 7-3, and Thrun capped the scoring for an 8-3 lead.

The Nordiques’ final home game of the regular season is Saturday against the Tomahawks at 7 p.m.

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