LEWISTON — The New Jersey Titans came to The Colisee this weekend and got some separation from the Maine Nordiques with a 2-1 victory Saturday night.

The Titans completed the weekend sweep after beating the Nordiques 5-3 on Friday night.

New Jersey (33-17-3, 69 points) now has a four-point lead over Maine (31-19-3, 65 points) for second place in the NAHL East Division. The Nordiques still have a two-point advantage over the Northeast Generals for third place.

“It was a huge two points — four points actually — and the boys earned it, they were eating shots,” New Jersey forward Brendan Dumas said. “Now we get to celebrate.”

Titans coach Craig Doremus said this weekend was a de facto playoff series.

“It had a playoff feel tonight,” Doremus said. “Obviously, each team tried to avoid the penalty box, and they didn’t want that to have a factor. I thought it was a clean, hard-fought game. A lot of attention to details by us away from the puck on the (defensive side) as well. I thought there was an urgency and desperation. Quite frankly is refreshing to see from us as we try to prepare for a playoff run.”


Maine Nordiques coach Matt Pinchevsky said the weekend was a wake-up call for the team after coming into the weekend winning 13 of the past 15 games.

“We understand what type of battle we are in, and we need to find ways to win with whatever lineup is going out there, whatever goaltender is in the net,” Pinchevsky said. “We didn’t do that this weekend.”

The Nordiques played this weekend without forwards Patrick Schmiedlin and Henrik Hallberg, who both have missed several games with injuries.

Seven seconds into their first power play, Dumas gave the Titans a 1-0 lead just past the nine-minute mark of the first period.

“I got lucky; I am playing with some good guys right now,” Dumas said. “We are making plays, and we are getting (things) to happen, and we are winning.”

Maine responded when Titans goalie Zakari Brice stopped an Evan Orloff shot from the blue line, but forward Alexey Yarmulnik drove to the net and potted the rebound 11:29 into the first period.


Pinchevsky credits Shane Kozlina for his play in the offensive zone, which helped set the goal up.

“I think the driver on the line was the young prospect Shane Kozlina, who had really good puck possession. He was really tenacious with his stick down low and earns the wall. He gets it over to Evan, Evan’s shot, rebound, goal.”

After a quiet second period, the Titans took a 2-1 lead 2:37 into the third period when Reece Brednich tipped in a Joe Harney shot past Maine goalie Kael DePape (29 saves).

Doremus said the goal wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for a faceoff win in the neutral zone to get the puck into the offensive zone.

“The play happens 100 or so feet away from the goal,” Doremus said. “It’s a big faceoff win and zone entry, a good hunt for the puck on the forecheck. Reece was able to get to the right area of the ice and tip it back of the net.”

The Nordiques had a couple of chances on the power play in the middle of the third period but couldn’t get anything past Brice (35 saves).


Maine went 0 for 2 on the power play for the game and New Jersey went 1 for 3.

With DePape pulled, the Nordiques pressured Brice in the final 90 seconds, but the shots went wide of the net.

“I enjoyed the guys’ compete in a 6-on-5 scenario in both nights,” Pinchevsky said. “It’s something we need to work on more in these tight games, to get over the edge or tie it up. I liked some of the things we saw, and the bottom line is we need more. To like what we saw is one thing, but I don’t think we were dissatisfied with our work ethic enough to turn it up. We just allowed the game to complete itself.”

The Nordiques homestand continues next weekend when the fifth-place Johnstown Tomahawks come to town Friday and Saturday night at 7 p.m.

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