Luke Van Why sparked the Maryland Black Bears’ comeback against the Maine Nordiques on Saturday night.

Van Why scored a hat trick in a 5-4 overtime win in an NAHL East Division contest at Piney Orchard Ice Arena in Odenton, Maryland.

The Nordiques (21-15-3, 45 points) did take three of the possible four points this weekend against the Black Bears (28-10-4, 60 points).

“We got three points and they got two, that’s how this weekend went,” Maine Nordiques coach Matt Pinchevsky said. “I think it was a big growth moment for our team. I think that team absolutely despises playing against us.”

Maine carried a 4-1 lead into the third period and Van Why scored a power-play tally nearly six minutes into the frame to cut the deficit in half.

Van Why scored again in the middle of the third, beating Nordiques goalie Thomas Heaney to get the Black Bears within 4-3.


Kaleb Tiessen evened the contest up 12:19 into the final frame. Van Why had an assist on the goal. Former Twin City Thunder player Samuel Stitz had his second assist of the game on the goal as well.

“We have to be a little more disciplined. We had some untimely penalties that were penalties and I thought the refs did a good job,” Pinchevsky said. “We had a couple of debatable icing calls, but overall, I thought the linesmen did a good job as well. We have to hit the details and discipline checkmarks throughout the game.”

Once the game got into overtime, it didn’t take long for Van Why to strike. Just 22 seconds into the extra session, he found the back of the net for the eighth time this season.

“They seem pretty relieved to bury that one in overtime,” Pinchevsky said.

Sanford native Oliver Genest opened the scoring for the Nordiques 2:09 into the first period.

Arizona State commit Tony Achille scored two minutes later, with Aidan Coupe and Nicholas Bernardo setting up the goal that put Maine up 2-0.


Filip Wiberg then added the third goal near the midway point of the first period, beating Maryland goalie William Hakansson.

Coupe, Friday’s hero, gave the Nordiques a 4-0 lead on the power play, with linemates Jonny Meiers and Brendan Gibbons adding the assists at the 12:43 mark of the opening period.

The Nordiques were 1 for 5 on the man-advantage and the Black Bears were 2 for 5.

Achille, Wiberg, and Coupe are all in their final year of junior hockey.

“The age and experience of our team are really stepping up and they been great leaders,” Pinchevesky said. “We have a room full of leaders, but the guys with a little more experience are all leaving it out there for their team and obviously for our organization and for Lewiston and Auburn.”

Christian Catalano put Maryland on the board a little over a minute after Coupe’s tally.

The Nordiques now have a three-point advantage over the Johnstown Tomahawks (20-17-2, 42 points) for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East Division.

The Nordiques visit the Northeast Generals next Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. each night.

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