The North American 3 Hockey League is returning to Lewiston.

The lone Tier III junior hockey league under the USA Hockey umbrella announced Wednesday that they approved the membership of the Maine Jr. Nordiques for the 2024-25 season.

The NA3HL franchise won’t affect the Maine Nordiques, the Tier II junior hockey team that plays in the North American Hockey League. The two teams will have subtle differences in their colors, logos and uniforms, according to an NA3HL media release.

The Maine Nordiques become the fifth team in the NAHL’s East Division to have an NA3HL franchise, joining the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks, New Hampshire Mountain Kings, New Jersey Titans and Northeast Generals.

Both teams will play out of The Colisee.

“It’s great to see the East continue to grow at the NA3HL level,” NAHL and NA3HL Commissioner Mark Frankenfeld said in Wednesday’s media release. “Having both the NAHL and NA3HL teams under the same roof is very beneficial for the players ability to develop and advance. The NA3HL not only advances 100s of players directly to college, but we are seeing more and more of players advance to the NAHL and on to the NCAA DI level. With the standards that the Nordiques have set in place already in the NAHL, I believe they will be a big part of advancing players from their NA3HL team.”


This isn’t the first time The Colisee will be home to a Tier III junior hockey team. The L/A Fighting Spirit began play late in the 2014-15 season in the North America 3 East Hockey League after relocating from Laconia, New Hampshire. The following season, the NA3EHL merged with the current NA3HL.

Heading into the 2017-18 season, Jim Cain, the owner of The Colisee at the time, purchased the Fighting Spirit from Rod Simmons and rebranded the team to the L/A Nordiques.

Under Cain’s ownership, the L/A Nordiques went 75-15-4 in two seasons, with Auburn native Cam Robichaud coaching the team. During the 2018-19 season, the team went to the NA3HL Fraser Cup final, losing 2-1 to the Texas Jr. Brahmas.

When Darryl Antonacci got the NAHL franchise for the 2019-20 season, the L/A Nordiques were also sold to him in addition to Antonacci acquiring The Colisee from Firland Management and Jim Cain. Chris Pomerleau led the L/A Nordiques in 2019-20 with a 33-13-1 record.

After the 2019-20 season, the L/A Nordiques ceased operations.

“We are looking forward to continuing to offer opportunities with the best developmental path for players, and grow our fan base,” Darren Anderson with Shift Sports and Entertainment, the current owner of the Maine Nordiques junior hockey teams, said in the release. “The Colisee has a great history of hockey. The Lewiston-Auburn community has been a real hockey hotbed and a real hockey town for decades. We want to keep growing and building off of the great history that has been established here. We are trying to bring the community together through the game of hockey by creating a great relationship between the two levels (NAHL/NA3HL) is a part of our brand, and our mission to create a great hockey culture and developmental environment in both stages of players’ career paths.”


The Jr. Nordiques will take part in the NA3HL draft on April 24.


Maine Nordiques goalie Thomas Heaney recently announced his commitment to the University of Connecticut for the 2024-25 season.

The 21-year-old from Oceanport, New Jersey, went 14-11-4 with a 3.36 goals-against average and .900 save percentage in his second season with the team.

Heaney becomes the 12th player on the Nordiques this season to commit to a Division I school.

UConn, a member of Hockey East, went 15-19-2 this season and finished eighth in the conference. The Huskies lost goalies Ethan Haider, a Nashville Predators draft pick who signed with their American Hockey League affiliate after the season, and Arseni Sergeyev, a Calgary Flames draft pick, who transferred to Penn State.


The Maine Nordiques will open the first round of the NAHL East Division semifinals on Friday at 7:30 p.m. against the Rochester Jr. Americans at The Colisee. Game 2 is Saturday at 7 p.m.


The Twin City Thunder signed forwards Ayzek Waldron and Evan Luxford to USPHL NCDC tenders for the 2024-25 season.

Waldron played for the Seacoast Performance Academy 18U team out of Exeter, New Hampshire, this past season, where he had 25 goals and 24 assists in 59 games.

Luxford, 18, had 25 goals and 24 assists in 43 games with the Hudson Havoc of the USPHL Premier League.

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