LEWISTON — The Maine Nordiques spread out the goal scorers as five players found the back of the net in a 5-3 victory over the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks at The Colisee on Friday night.

“That’s how we are designed, we are designed with depth,” Maine Nordiques coach Matt Pinchevsky said. “There’s no first line, second line, third line, fourth line, bubble guys. We are a family. Everything that everyone does affords us success. We are all trying to pull on the same rope.”

Danbury’s (2-25-5, 9 points) losing streak is now at 18 games, with their last win coming in Lewiston in a 2-1 victory on Oct. 21.

The Hat Tricks had a new bench boss Friday in Patrik Stefan, the No. 1 pick in the 1999 NHL Draft by the Atlanta Thrashers. Former head coach Matt Voity has a new role in Danbury’s organization, with the Federal Prospects Hockey League team. Stefan is remembered not for the 64 goals he scored in his career, but for the one he didn’t score with the Dallas Stars on Jan. 4, 2007, against the Edmonton Oilers. He stole the puck at the offensive blue line, then missed with an empty net. The Oilers went down the ice in the final seconds to tie the game 5-5. However, the Stars won the game 6-5 in a shootout.

Stefan has a son, Wyatt, on the team and coached his older son James at the 15U AAA level with the Little Caesars program in Detroit, Michigan, a few years ago.

“I had a pretty good idea of the team because I watched every single game on the laptop and the TV,” Patrik Stefan said. “I had a pretty good idea of the team. You can watch the games on TV all day long, but until you are behind the bench and really get the feel for the kids, and players and feel the game … this showed me and feel for me where the team is.”


The Nordiques (15-10-2, 32 points) started the game with a bang, scoring two goals in the first 33 seconds of the contest for a 2-0 lead. Tony Achille’s shot fluttered past Danbury goalie Matthew O’Donnell (33 saves) for the 1-0 lead. Patrick Schmiedlin tallied the assist.

Oliver Genest scored the second goal from defenseman Evan Orloff.

Maine continued to fire shots at O’Donnell throughout the first period, but couldn’t find the back of the net.

Danbury evened the contest at the end of the first period as Wyatt Stefan, from behind the Maine goal line, banked a shot off the back of Nordiques goalie Thomas Heaney and into the net.

“That’s a part of the game; you sometimes get the lucky bounces and sometimes you work hard for things and they go in,” Patrik Stefan said.

The goal came at the 16:32 mark and two minutes later, Chase Sandhu ripped a shot past Heaney (14 saves) from the right circle.


Early in the second period, Nordiques forward Kellen Murphy sent the puck toward the crease and Brendan Gibbons chased it down to tap it past O’Donnell for a 3-2 Maine lead.

The puck started to bounce in the second period and the Nordiques struggled to clear the puck out of the defensive zone. Danbury tied the game when forward Logan Nickerson skated in on Heaney to beat him with a wrist shot at the 16:36 mark to tie the game 3-3.

Heaney made a few saves on a couple of breakaway opportunities by Danbury, including two in the final 30 seconds.

“I just had to keep a steady mind; I struggled a little bit throughout the game,” Heaney said. “The boys were there to help me out and I just needed to make the saves when they counted.”

Aidan Coupe gave the Nordiques a 4-3 lead nearly three minutes into the third period as he skated into the offensive zone untouched and slipped the puck past O’Donnell.

“He’s physically engaging,” Pinchevsky said of Coupe. “He’s not a 200-pounder; he’s 170 pounds, and he’s really physical. You get rewarded when you love the game in all areas.”


Again, the Nordiques drove the net to score a goal. This time, Laurent Trepanier went to the crease but couldn’t get a shot off. Andrew Gibbons put home the loose rebound 11:26 into the third period.

Gibbons joined the Nordiques while his prep school team, St. Marks in Southborough, Massachusetts, is on break. He has four goals and seven assists in nine games this season.

“The first thing that came to my mind is to make sure I just get to the net,” Andrew Gibbons said. “This is a big step up from prep hockey, and I am just making sure I am at the right place at the right time is massive and using my speed to get to the net. The puck was able to squeak out and I was able to bang it home. The rest was a blur to me.”

Andrew Gibbons is the brother of Nordiques veteran Brendan Gibbons and is also heading to Air Force like Brendan.

“Getting to play with my brother has been a dream of mine since I was three or four years old,” Andrew said. “Being able to play with him is great — being able to play for the Nordiques is amazing. I have been able to practice over Thanksgiving break and to get into a game is amazing.”

NOTES: The Hat Tricks are without goalie and University of Maine commit Patriks Berzins, who is at the International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Junior Championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Moncton, New Brunswick, with Latvia.

Berzins has started all four games for Latvia. He’s 0-4 with a 2.71 goals-against-average and a .914 save percentage.

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