The Maine Nordiques opened the North American Hockey League Showcase with some offensive fireworks in Blaine, Minnesota.

Led by Nick Romeo’s two goals, the Nordiques defeated the Chippewa Steel of the Midwest Division 7-2.

“I think Nick Romeo needs to get acclimated to the physicality and how hard it is to play in this league,” Maine coach Nick Skerlick said. “Seeing him scoring two goals tonight, one gritty one and a one-timer, makes me feel better about his development the past three weeks.”

Tomas Trunda gave Chippewa (0-2, 0 points) an early 1-0 lead in the opening period before forward Kellen Murphy evened the contest for the Nordiques (2-1, 4 points) nearly four minutes into the first. Charles Tardiff and Cole Hipkin had the assists for Maine.

Cam Davis put the Steel up 2-1 about 12 minutes later.

“I was very disappointed with our start in the first period, which was very similar to the second period in our first game of the season,” Skerlick said. “I challenged the group and I thought their response was very good.”


Nordiques forward Cody Pisarczyk tied the game late in the first stanza, with Grant Diez and Aidan Dixon recording assists.

Maine started to pull away midway through the second period when Kai Dunits beat Steel goalie Carter Wishart (27 saves).

Second-year defenseman David Helledy extended Maine’s lead to 4-2 a few minutes later. Pisarczyk and JP Steele had helpers.

“I think JP Steele has been our best (defenseman) the first three games of the season,” Skerlick said. “David Helledy had a big goal that really got us going.”

Romeo scored nearly eight minutes into the third period, and Steele picked up his second assist.

Romeo added another goal 16 minutes into the third period. That won also was set up by Steele, along with Bernadet, who notched his second assist.


Both of Romeo’s tallies came on power plays. The Nordiques were 2-for-4 with the man advantage, while the Steel were 0-for-3.

Laurent Trepanier added the Nordiques’ seventh tally.

Nordiques goalie Thomas Heaney stopped 33 shots.


Forward Kellen Murphy and defenseman Seth Murch solidified their college plans this past week.

Murphy, 19, committed to Army on Friday. The second-year Nordiques forward had 17 goals and 23 assists in 55 games in 2022-23 and has three goals and an assist in three games this season.

He becomes the third player in Maine Nordiques to commit to the Black Knights, joining Ansel “Gus” Holt and Reese Farrell.

Murch, 19, is also going to a service academy. He committed to the Air Force Academy on Monday. The defenseman is in his second year with the Nordiques. He tallied a goal and five assists in 58 games in 2022-23, and has recorded one assist so far this season.

He will join former Maine Nordiques player Brendan Gibbons at Air Force.

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