LEWISTON — The Maine Nordiques and the Maryland Black Bears went toe-to-toe Friday night at The Colisee.

The Nordiques took home the 6-5, overtime victory in an NAHL East Division game. Maine coach Matt Pinchevsky said the Nordiques (17-14-2, 36 points), fourth in the East, are a tough opponent for the division-leading Black Bears (26-7-4, 56 points).

“We match up well with them,” Pinchevsky said. “It was a very back-and-forth game; we gave them more than they earned. … That just shows where our team can improve and we can really start closing teams out and get back to our winning ways.”

Maine snapped a four-game losing streak with the win.

Patrick Schmiedlin recorded his second point of the night when his backhander beat Maryland goaltender Jack Wieneke (11 saves) nearly three minutes into the extra session.

“It’s awesome,” Schmiedlin said of scoring the game-winner. “We deserved that win; we played so well. It has been a tough time against that team — it’s always a close game. To put that one home, it felt very good. I have been struggling to find the back of the net recently.”


Maryland coach Clint Mylymok said the Black Bears didn’t have their A-game Friday.

“It’s a game you don’t want to play, which is unstructured and sloppy,” Mylymok said. “That’s what they like to do and play like, so we played down to their level. … One of their best players stepped up in overtime and got it done.”

The goal brought to an end what was a fast-paced third period and overtime session.

The Nordiques took a 4-3 lead into the third period and midway through the stanza, Maryland tied it. After Maine Nordiques goalie Thomas Heaney (39 saves) made a couple of saves, Branden Piku jammed home the puck for his 13th tally of the season.

Aidan Coupe put the Nordiques back in front as his shot beat Wieneke 15 minutes into the third period. Linemates Schmiedlin and Oli Genest notched the assists.

Trey Scott forced overtime, scoring with under four minutes to play to tie the game 5-5.


Henrik Hallberg opened the scoring for the Nordiques nearly four minutes into the opening period. He put home a rebound after Maryland starting goalie William Hakansson (12 saves) kicked out a Coupe shot into the slot. Defenseman Sterling Wolters also recorded an assist.

“Thanks to Coupe, it was a perfect shot off the pads,” Hallberg said. “I just stand there in front of the net near the blue paint and put it in there.”

Hallberg finished with four points on the night, as he added three assists. He now has 14 goals and 19 assists in 34 contests this season.

Maryland evened the game on the man-advantage 5 minutes, 25 seconds into the opening frame, as Adam Schankula notched his eighth goal. Piku and former Twin City Thunder player Sam Stitz set the tally up.

Midway through the first period, Hunter Ramos notched his 15th goal of the season, giving the Black Bears a 2-1 lead.

Just like the Black Bears, the Nordiques scored on their first power play of the game when Jonny Meiers blasted a shot past Hakansson. Hallberg and Gibbons recorded assists on the goal about 16 minutes into the first period.


Filip Wiberg darted to the goal with under two minutes remaining in the first period and he flipped the puck over Hakansson’s shoulder for a 3-2 Maine lead. Hallberg and David Helledy notched the assists.

“We had very good transition coming from David Helledy — he gets the puck up (the ice) in a simple way,” Pinchevsky said. “That’s what we are asking from our defensemen: play simple satisfies. He gets it to Wiberg — Wiberg is 192 pounds, solid-rock muscle — whichever player on their team reaching or trying to defend, he would have still taken care of business.”

Meiers scored almost an identical goal as he did in the first period when he netted his second goal just past the three-minute mark of the middle frame for a 4-2 lead. Defenseman Nicholas Bernardo and Hallberg had the assists on the power-play tally.

The Nordiques were 3 for 6 on the man-advantage and the Black Bears were 2 for 4.

Hakansson’s night ended after giving up that goal and Wieneke played the remainder of the game.

Kal Essenmacher got the Black Bears back in striking distance when he grabbed the puck in front of Heaney’s crease and slid it into the net in the middle of the second period.


“Even down two, I don’t think our team is ever out of it,” Mylymok said. “If you look at our track record this season, we find a way to earn points. In fact, it’s something really important when you are on the road, just get points any way you can.”

The teams meet again Saturday at The Colisee at 7 p.m.


• Hallberg and Bernardo will represent the Nordiques at the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, which is being held Feb. 6-7 at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania.

“The Top Prospects (selection) helped me believe in myself tonight,” Hallberg said.

Both players will be on the East Division roster. Bernardo has seven goals and 15 assists in 27 games this season.

“I’d say Nick Bernardo is trending upward in a big way,” Pinchevsky said. “He would have been a no-brainer for the game last year, but he happened to have his commitment (to Brown), but now he’s a free agent, he’s garnering multiple layers of (Division I) interest.”

• Goalie Patriks Berzins, a UMaine commit, has been sent to the Tri-City Storm of the Tier I United States Hockey League by the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks of the NAHL’s East Division. Berzins is 1-11-2 with a 3.77 goals-against-average and a .917 save percentage.

• The Twin City Thunder have signed Gavin Graham to an NCDC tender contract for the 2003-24 season. The 20-year-old forward from Beaverton, Ontario, has eight goals and 24 assists in 34 games with the Atlanta Mad Hatters of the USPHL’s Premier League.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.