September 9, 2022 (Lewiston, ME) – The opening weekend of the 2022-2023 NAHL Season took the Northeast Generals north to Maine. The year didn’t start out as planned as the Nordiques powered their way through the Gens to a 6-4 opening night victory.
The Nordiques opened the scoring 7:42 into the contest while on the powerplay. Jonny Meiers held possession along the left side half wall and fed a pass below the goal line to captain Brendan Gibbons. Gibbons moved to the front of the net and lifted the puck over the glove of Generals netminder Cullen DeYoung giving the Nordiques an early lead.
Just under ten minutes later at 16:26 Maine doubled bringing the score to 2-0 before the first intermission. Paul Steele from the right side boards sent a shot onto DeYoung who stuck out his left pad to turn it aside. Unfortunately for the Gens Patrick Schmiedlin was waiting in the slot for the rebound and fired it past an outstretched DeYoung for his first goal of the season.
The second period was scoreless for the majority of the first half until Maine added another at the 9:36 mark. Blake Rothstein found himself with an opportunity at the side of the net but rang a shot off the post. Despite the goal light going off Oliver Genest was able to find the puck in front and fire a shot of his own. Once again DeYoung made the original save, but Rothstein was still waiting at the side of the net and wasn’t going to miss for a second time moving the score to 3-0.
The Nordiques biggest lead of the night came at the 15:16 mark of the second period on the back of Laurent Trepanier’s first of two goals in the game. Following a turnover deep in the Northeast Zone Trepanier found the puck with a good look at goal. DeYoung stopped the first attack, but Trepanier found his own rebound just outside of the crease and poked it home making it 4-0.
The 4 goal lead didn’t last long though. Only 26 seconds to be exact when Max Lundgren and Jared Scott found themselves on a two-on-one break. Lundgren held the puck until the bottom of the faceoff circle before sliding a pass across the front of the crease to Scott who hammered home the backdoor shot. Scott had 19 goals in 53 games last season and started the scoring for the Generals in the new year.
Less than a minute later the Gens added another on a powerplay of their own. Sixten Jennersjö and Jackson McCarthy played pass along the right side half wall before the latter slid the puck across the zone to Ryan Schelling on the far side wall. Schelling held for a moment before sending the puck back through the seam to Jennersjö on the right side who picked the top right corner of the net to bring the score back to within two at 4-2.
Maine scored the next two goals. The first in the late stages of the second period at the 18:17 mark Trepanier found the back of the net for the second time, and the second one early in the third period at 6:43 Steele made it 6-2.
Down by four the Gens wouldn’t let up as they looked to come back in the first game of the season. They got one back at 12:20. Jacob Kaminski gained possession in the top of the offensive zone and moved towards the goal. Moving towards the back door Nick Ramm followed the rebound of Kaminski’s shot and buried it to bring the game back to a 3 goal deficit.
Though the effort was there the comeback fell short as the Generals dropped the first game of the new year 6-2 at the hands of the Nordiques. DeYoung (0-1) played all 60 minutes for Northeast stopping 27 of 33 shots faced while his counterpart Thomas Heaney (1-0) turned aside 27 of 30 shots on goal.
The two teams will run it back tomorrow, Saturday September 10th at 7 p.m. at the Historic Colisée in Lewiston, Maine.