Cole Hipkin gets a stick on a shot as fellow Nordiques teammate Matthew Lewis tries to jump out of the way in second period action against the New Jersey Titans at The Colisee in Lewiston on Friday Ron Morin photo

LEWISTON — Nils Forelius helped put the New Jersey Titans away in the third period.

The Maine Nordiques forward scored twice in the frame and added an assist in the 6-2 win over the Titans in a NAHL East Division contest at The Colisee on Friday night.

“It was a big win for us after we (lost) two last weekend,” Forelius said. “The big thing we harped on was our defensive game, we were letting up a lot of goals, and tonight we only managed to let up two, that’s a big step for us — and good goaltending.”

Shane Kozlina also scored a third-period goal and notched an assist in the win.

With the Nordiques (17-6-3, 37 points) leading 3-2 after 40 minutes, Kozlina put Maine back up by two goals in the third period when Nils Forelius made a tape-to-tape pass to him in the neutral zone. Kozlina used his speed to gain entry into the offensive zone and ripped a shot past New Jersey goalie Zackari Brice eight minutes into the period.

“It was definitely a good pass,” Kozlina said of Forelius. “It was good work by Nils backchecking and getting the puck. (New Jersey) was changing and he made a tape-to-tape pass.”


Forelius stretched the lead to 5-2 with a point-blank backhander nearly 11 minutes into the final frame. He scored a few minutes later when he crashed the crease again for a 6-2 advantage.

“The best thing about those back-to-back goals, they were scored the exact same way,” Maine Nordiques coach Nick Skerlick said. “(Defenseman-to-Defenseman), far-side guy. Right now, knowing (New Jersey coach) Craig Doremus, he’s going to try to cover that tomorrow.”

Doremus wasn’t pleased with his club’s effort in the third stanza.

“Our team quit in the third period,” Doremus said. “When it got hard, our guys ran to the hills. They were looking for the quickest way back to the hotel and they found it. Unfortunately, they were humiliated in doing so.”

Reece Brednich put home a point-blank rebound to give the Titans (13-11-1, 27 points) a 1-0 lead 20 seconds into the second period. Dominick Rivelli had the initial shot and Matej Teply also had an assist.

Defenseman David Helledy’s shot got redirected off a Titans player’s skate right into the goal, tying the game for the Nordiques at 1-1 eight minutes into the middle frame.


Nick Bernardo had an assist on the tally, it was his 93rd career point as a Nordique, which is a new franchise high. He was previously tied with Brendan Gibbons, who played for the team from 2021-23, with 92 points.

Maine took the lead 58 seconds after Helledy’s marker when Evan Orloff shot off an offensive zone faceoff win to beat Brice. Liam Gilmartin and Charles Tardif had the helpers.

“When I saw Orloff get it and shoot it, it was in the net instantly,” Skerlick said. “Nobody saw that, and it was the clearest lane to the net. What a shot,”

Matt Lewis potted home a rebound after Brice kicked a Kozlina backhander right to Lewis nearly 14 minutes into the second period.

“(Kozlina) went to go pass it to Lewis and their (defenseman) got flustered and it went right back to Kozlina. Lewis was in the exact same spot we wanted him to be in and was there to score,” Skerlick said.

Rivelli cut the deficit to 3-2 when his shot from the left circle beat Nordiques goalie Carter Richardson’s glove side late in the second stanza.

“If the game ended after 40 minutes, it would have been a respectable loss,” Doremus said. “We allowed it to be a disrespectful loss to our players, our staff, our organization. It was an embarrassment.”

The two teams meet again Saturday at 7 p.m. at The Colisee.

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