Jun. 20—The Maine Nordiques bid for the North American Hockey League’s Robertson Cup came to an end Saturday.
The Shreveport Mudbugs took an early lead a put Maine away with a 5-1 win in Game 2 of the best-of-three semifinal series in Blaine, Minnesota.
The Mudbugs scored twice in the first period and added two goals in the second and one in the third.
“They are a good hockey team,” Nordiques coach Nolan Howe said. “They were able to jump out on us, and they were able to sit in the (neutral) zone trap and continued to create turnovers. We certainly tried, but they got off to that hot start and we weren’t able to play catchup all night and close the gap.”
Once again, Dartmouth commit Braiden Dorfman was a thorn in the Nordiques’ side. He scored two goals, both in the first period, and was named the game’s first star.
Maine continued to struggle to get out of its defensive zone in the first period, while the Mudbugs’ constant pressure allowed them to grab a lead. There was a battle in front of the crease, and Maine Nordiques goalie Tyriq Outen made the initial save but couldn’t swallow the puck in his pads. Outen lost track of the puck in the traffic, and Dorfman put the loose puck into the net just past the two-minute mark of the opening period.
Shreveport continued to build off the goal, and just before the seven-minute mark, Dorfman fired a backhander in the slot that deflected off the post and into the goal, giving the Mudbugs a 2-0 lead.
The Nordiques only had three shots on goal in the first period.
“They got us to spread out, and we weren’t able to get the normal support on the puck,” Howe said.
With Nordiques captain Jack Strauss in the box, Shreveport’s Billy Feczko scored a power-play goal after Mason McCormick won an offensive zone faceoff. The goal, which pushed the Mudbugs’ lead to 3-0, was scored just before the five-minute mark of the second period.
Dawson Sciarrino nearly extended the Mudbugs’ lead midway through the second period when he created a turnover at Shreveport’s offensive blue line, but Outen made a sprawling save. Outen made 16 of his 38 saves in the second period.
“Ty, for certain, was a backbone for us all season long,” Howe said. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get much going offensively to help him out the last two games. He’s a warrior. I can’t tell you how many guys were playing banged up and doing everything they could to stay in the lineup. They were giving it their all.”
Shreveport scored another goal off an offensive zone faceoff when Feczko’s point shot bounced off Nordiques forward Cannon Green and then deflected off Outen’s glove and into the goal with 26 seconds remaining in the second stanza.
“We got scored on the power play again, credit to them,” Howe said. “They scored a couple of goals off faceoffs. They just had our number. They scored early (in periods), they scored late in periods. They did what they had to do to carry the momentum to keep it. We weren’t able to get it done tonight.”
An early power play in the third period put the Nordiques on the board. Luke Antonacci sent a cross-ice pass to Stefan Owens, and Owens fired the puck from the left circle past Shreveport goalie Cole Hudson (19 saves) only 62 seconds into the period.
Maine went 1-for-2 on the man advantage, while the Mudbugs were 1-for-4.
Dawson Sciarrino scored the Mudbugs’ fifth goal of the game midway through the third period.
The No. 2 seed Mudbugs will take on the top-seeded Aberdeen Wings on Tuesday night for the Robertson Cup.