Two players selected earlier in the week for the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament lifted the Maine Nordiques to a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Titans in an East Division game at the Middletown Ice World in Middletown, New Jersey, Saturday night..

“It was a war tonight,” Nick Skerlick said. “It took every ounce to make things happen. I think the kids did a pretty damn good job to the criticism we gave them last night.”

Charles Tardif scored in the first period, while Tomek Haula scored the game-winning goal for Maine (27-9-4) midway through the third.

The league’s Top Prospects Tournament is scheduled for early February, and Tardif and Haula are slated to be joined by teammates JP Steele and Aiden Dixon.

“I want to note I really am proud of Charles Tardif with his 25th goal of the season, which ranks the highest for most regular season goals for a Maine Nordique,” Skerlick said. “I thought Tomek Haula was really good, and he was really good defensively as well.”

Stefan Owens had 24 goals during the 2020-21 regular season.


Jake Bernadet, Kellen Murphy, Shane Kozlina and David Helledy all recorded assists for the Nordiques.

Dominick Rivelli scored late in the second period for New Jersey (19-15-2, 40 points), with Dominik Bartecko and Odlin Ford setting the tally up.

Carter Richardson stopped 32 shots for the victory and Dylan Krick had 28 saves for the Titans.

Skerlick said he liked the effort of both of his goalies this weekend. Thomas Heaney got the start in Friday’s 5-2 loss. Skerlick was pleased with his defensemen also.

“Both goalies played outstanding all weekend. I want to give credit to Tommy, too,” Skerlick said. “… At the end of the day, he played outstanding, and Carter was really good tonight. Those guys were special for us all weekend. I want to give credit to JP Steele; I want to give credit to all the defensemen tonight — Seth Murch was incredible. It was a full defensive effort tonight.”

Maine caps its 10-game road trip when it takes on the Johnstown Tomahawks next Friday and Saturday.

“We are really going to focus on team energy this week and sticking with each other because I feel this road trip, being on the road, being with each other all the time I feel created a few blemishes between teammates when things get tough,” Skerlick said. “We’re really going to stick to our details, team bonding, and family first before heading to play the most physical team in the division.”

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