The Maine Nordiques have the Northeast Generals in their sights after a 6-5 victory over the Generals at the New England Sports Village in Attleboro, Massachusetts, on Thursday.

With the win, the Nordiques (22-14-3, 47 points) are just four points back of the Generals (23-16-5, 51 points) for third place in the NAHL East Division.

This week is an unofficial playoff series of sorts, with three games in four days between the teams. They play Friday in Attleboro (7 p.m.) before the teams trek to The Colisee in Lewiston for a Sunday matinee at 3 p.m.

“Isn’t it great? It’s playoff hockey for the rest of the regular season into the actual playoff series,” Maine Nordiques coach Matt Pinchevsky said. “But, one game at a time, one step at a time. We are really excited for the next one tomorrow.”

Heading into the third period on Thursday, the Nordiques had a 5-2 lead, but the Generals chipped away with a goal midway through the period. Paul Minnehan, who assisted on the Generals’ first two goals, scored on the power play to cut the deficit to 5-3.

David Andreychuk and defenseman Matthew DeSpirit had the assists.


Minnehan and Andreychuk are two-thirds of the Generals’ top line. Pinchevsky said to defend them, the Nordiques have to skate.

“It’s probably a little more complex than this but, honestly, we have to move our feet,” Pinchevsky said. “That big line plays more than big minutes; I think they get overextended at times. We train so hard and skate so much. If you want to match that way and play that way, we certainly can.”

Emerson Miller scored with under two minutes to play, getting the Generals within a goal.

Defenseman Evan Orloff scored an empty-net goal, stretching the Nordiques lead to 6-4 with about a minute play. It was his second goal of the game.

Joseph Schubert scored with 54 seconds remaining, getting the Generals back within one, but Maine shut the door the rest of the way for the victory.

Brendan Gibbons gave the Nordiques a 1-0 lead three minutes into the opening period. Linemate Kellen Murphy and defenseman Evan Orloff recorded the assists.


The Generals evened the game a minute before the first intermission with Schubert beating Nordiques goalie Kael DePape (29 saves).

Northeast took back-to-back penalties to start the second period and Maine built its lead on the power play. Forward Henrik Hallberg scored 91 seconds into the period, with Gibbons and Jonny Meiers setting the tally up.

Aidan Coupe put the Nordiques up 3-1 with another power-play tally 3:18 into the middle stanza, with defender Sterling Wolters setting the goal up.

“For the fans at home wondering what we work on all the time, we try to make special teams a component every day,” Pinchevsky said. “It’s a huge aspect of the game, and we try to develop all our players to think and be able to react in power-play situations or even-strength situations into power-play situations with decisions and puck choices they make.”

Maine was 2 for 4 on the power play and the Generals were 1 for 4.

Filip Wiberg scored by beating Generals goalie Toby Hopp (26 saves) for a 4-1 advantage nearly 15 minutes into the second period. Wolters notched his second assist.

Andreychuk cut the deficit in half about two minutes later.

Wiberg scored again in the final two minutes of the second period, giving the Nordiques a 5-2 lead. Defenseman John-Paul Steele had the helper.

“It was one of the bigger moments of the game,” Pinchevsky said of Wiberg’s goal at the end of the second period. “… It was an impactful goal for us, and that to be his second of the game, playing as possessed as he is, the leader that he is, he’s really upping his stock as far as Division I recruiting.”

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