LEWISTON — While fans at Colby College saw the current University of Maine players Saturday evening against the University of New Hampshire, the crowd at The Colisee saw a future Black Bear in action.

UMaine recruit Jared Coccimiglio had a hand in the Philadelphia Rebels’ 6-2 victory against the Maine Nordiques in a North American Hockey League East Division game.

The Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, product put in a pair of first-period goals to help the Rebels complete the weekend sweep. Coccimiglio also had an assist in Friday’s win.

“My linemates played great as well,” Coccimiglio said. “They helped me get going, a nice pass from (Shawn Ramsey) on the second goal. The first one it just came together.”

Maine Nordiques coach Nick Skerlick wasn’t pleased with the Nordiques’ effort this weekend.

“It’s the second game in a row we won the first four shifts and we should have scored, didn’t score, their goalie made saves, ours didn’t,” Skerlick said. “It was a downhill battle, it was embarrassing.”


Skerlick said the veterans may be a little too comfortable right now and the younger players are showing their inexperience. He said a lot of guys still have the “Blaine hangover” from the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota, where the Nordiques went 2-1 in three games.

After Philadelphia (5-5-0, 10 points) goalie Jack Fialkoff made a point-blank save on Maine Nordiques (5-3-2, 12 points) forward Cody Pisarczyk, the Rebels won the defensive zone faceoff. Coccimiglio sprung free in the neutral zone and slipped the puck past Nordiques goalie Carter Richardson (12 saves) for a 1-0 lead nearly six minutes into the first period.

“I have been trying to shoot the puck more and it was going to go in eventually,” Coccimiglio said. “I trusted the process and yeah, I knew it was going to happen sooner than later.”

Coccimiglio now has three goals and three assists in 10 games.

Rebels coach Justin Hale credits Fialkoff for keeping the Nordiques off the scoreboard before Coccimiglio’s tally.

“He made some big saves early and a couple right away when they had chances,” Hale said. “He kept us 0-0 and that kind of shifted the momentum a little bit.”


Coccimiglio scored again just past the 11-minute mark for a 2-0 lead. Luke Minard had an assist on both goals.

“He’s been an awesome kid to work with,” Hale said of Coccimiglio. “He comes to work every day, and he gets better every single day. He has been a great teammate and a good leader.”

Tyler Stern extended the Rebels’ lead midway through the second period when his wrist shot beat Nordiques backup Thomas Heaney (14 saves).

The Nordiques had a chance to get back into the game a few minutes later when they had a 5-on-3 power play for nearly two minutes but couldn’t get a shot on Fialkoff (21 saves).

“The 5-on-3, I think, is a tell-tale sign of what we are talking about here,” Skerlick said. “Guys weren’t even set up in their correct positions and it’s something we have practiced; it’s something they know. When you have three guys at top and two guys are in the wrong place, it’s a dangerous sign.”

On the first power play for Philadelphia, the Rebels nearly stuffed the puck past Heaney.


Ryan Bunting added the Rebels’ fourth goal early in the third period when Brock Jones sent the puck towards the net, and it deflected off of Bunting’s stick past Heaney.

Charles Tardiff got Maine on the board 3:45 into the third with a snapshot from the slot. Linemates Kellen Murphy and Jake Bernadet had the helpers.

Maine went to the power play 90 seconds later but couldn’t sustain the momentum of Tardiff’s goal.

Kris Samitis closed the lid on a Nordiques comeback attempt by notching the Rebels’ fifth goal nearly nine minutes into the final period.

Emotions spilled a minute later when Nordiques defenseman Luke Chapelle laid a big hit on a Philadelphia player, which earned him a call for boarding. Stern defended his teammate by going after Chapelle, and received a roughing minor and a 10-minute misconduct. Chapelle also got called for roughing.

With the Rebels on the power play, Otto Polakovs found the back of the net 11:28 into the third period.


Pisarczyk finally got the puck past Fialkoff in the final minute of the third period on the power play to cut the lead to 6-2. Jack Kurrle had an assist.

“I am foaming at the mouth to take two down at their building,” Skerlick said. “Our backs are against the wall, and hopefully we can build off a depressing game and maybe a random goal at the end, especially on the power play that has been struggling desperately for goals.”

The Nordiques return to action next weekend at The Colisee with a pair of games against the Maryland Black Bears on Friday (7:30 p.m.) and Saturday (7 p.m.). On Sunday at 4 p.m., the New Hampshire Mountain Kings, coached by Auburn’s Cam Robichaud and featuring former Lewiston Blue Devil and Twin City Thunder defenseman Damon Bossie, visit The Colisee.


The Nordiques announced the addition of forward Matt Lewis on Saturday.

The 19-year-old from Pembroke, Massachusetts, began the year with the Springfield Jr. Blues of the NAHL’s Midwest division, where he didn’t record any points in three games. He acquired by a trade and the Nordiques sent a fourth draft pick in 2024 to the Blues.

“I think having a change of face in the room will show guys we will continue to build up this roster to be the best it can be on paper,” Skerlick said.

Lewis spent the 2022-23 season with the Rebels, recording four goals and six assists in 44 games.

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