The Maine Nordiques extended their winning streak to four games Friday night with a 2-1 victory over the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks in an NAHL junior hockey contest at the Danbury Ice Arena in Danbury, Connecticut.

Maine (30-17-3, 63 points) remains in third place in the East Division, two points behind the New Jersey Titans (31-16-3, 65 points) for second place. The Hat Tricks (3-47-5, 11 points) are seventh in the seven-team division.

Maine Nordiques coach Matt Pinchevsky said the team was without key players for Friday’s game.

“We have gotten some illnesses and injuries right now,” Pinchevsky said. “Almost everybody in our division is operating with their full-fledged, grade-A lineup, if they are playoff-bound. They are playing games with all of their top players, and this is now the fifth game in a row without Henrik Hallberg, and we have Patrick Schmiedlin two-and-a-half weeks out (from returning). David Helledy was sick and Laurent Trepanier was sick — who we might see come back in the lineup tomorrow.”

The Nordiques called upon some young players Friday, including forward Shane Kozlina, who has been on the Maine Nordiques Academy 18U team, and defenseman Drew Gibbons from St. Mark’s School in Southborough, Massachusetts, who is one of Maine’s affiliate players. Gibbons’ brother, Brendan, plays forward for the Nordiques.

Maine’s Alexey Yarmulnik potted the first goal of the game 2:45 into the second period. Kozlina and defenseman Sterling Wolters had the assists.


Pinchevsky said Yarmulnik unleashed a good shot that beat Danbury goalie Thomas Kiesewetter, who is committed to Princeton.

“He beat a Division I goaltender from quite the depth,” Pinchevsky said of Yarmulnik. “That shot was 35 feet out; it was well from the top of the circles into the back of the net.”

Oliver Genest, assisted by Kellen Murphy, stretched the Nordiques’ lead to 2-0 midway through the second period. It was Genest’s third goal in the past four games. He now has 18 on the season, which is one behind Henrik Hallberg’s team-leading 19 goals.

“Oli is proven to be a producer for us in clutch times, and colleges are taking notice in several conferences,” Pinchevsky said. “Kellen Murphy is really putting on a nice first-year campaign.”

Danbury battled in the third period when Ivan Korodiuk broke Nordiques goalie Thomas Heaney’s (20 saves) shutout bid 14:30 into the third period. Emerson Molas had the assist.

Despite losing the shutout, Pinchevsky credits Heaney for picking up the two points for the Nordiques.


“Thomas Heaney was the reason why we won the game,” Pinchevsky said. “We lose that game if Thomas Heaney doesn’t win that game.”

Kiesewetter, formerly of the Maine Nordiques Academy 18U team, stopped 36 shots for the Hat Tricks.

Both teams were 0 for 2 on power plays.

The Nordiques go for the sweep on Saturday in a 3 p.m. faceoff in Danbury.


Kozlina signed a tender with the Nordiques for next season on Thursday after spending most of this season with the Maine Nordiques Academy 18U team with 25 goals and 33 assists in 36 games.

Kozlina did play two games with the Nordiques earlier this season as a call-up, but signing a tender will allow him to remain with the team for the remainder of the season, since the 18U team’s season is over.

“He’s a hockey player who loves to be on the ice getting better every day,” Pinchevsky said in a statement posted on to the Maine Nordiques’ social media accounts. “That is what our program is built on. Koz is our kind of player — skilled, mobile, and lives for the game. The organization is so excited to have signed Koz to a tender as he will be a key piece to our hockey family this season and beyond.”

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