The Lewiston-Auburn Nordiques‘ season checklist of things to do is well filling up.
By Joshua Boyd
First, they’re doing a little bit of everything; second, they’re doing it all very well; and third, they want to do everything just a little bit better.
The Nordiques were holding on to a strong, if not commanding, lead in the Coastal Division of the NA3HL, standing at 21-5-1-1.
“There are a lot of positives. Things are going really well. We have some of the top goaltenders in the league, two defensemen in the top 20 in scoring and two forwards in the top [six] in scoring, including the league leader [as of Dec. 1],” said head coach Cameron Robichaud.
Caleb Labrie was indeed No. 1 in NA3HL scoring with 48 points after 23 games, though he was overtaken as of Dec. 13, standing in a tie for fourth with 52 points in 28 games.
Come playoff time, though, all of that and $2 will get you a cup of coffee.
“We’re definitely preaching as a coaching staff to stay hungry. There’s always someone bigger and better. We’re currently in first place, but every night, we’re getting every opponent’s best,” said Robichaud. “We have to stay sharp. At the end of the day, these players are looking to get to the next level, whether that be Tier-2 junior hockey or the NCAA. They’re focusing on both their individual game and our team goals.”
Robichaud certainly wants to bring the team to the Silver Cup championships next spring, and said the team does have some areas where it could be better.
“We really need to improve the starts to our games. We have been starting slow,” Robichaud added. “[The Nordiques] get better as the games go on. We’re a well-conditioned team, and we’re able to beat some teams in the later portions of games, but we’re finding a way to put in that full, 60-minute effort. We’ve been stressing that quite a bit.”
Along with Labrie standing at fourth among all forwards, Shayne Plummer was sixth with 49 points in 28 games. Among defensemen, Cole Ouellette (32) was tied for fourth and J.P. Chauvin (31 points) was tied for second,
In 14 games, Michael Errico was 11-2-0-1 with a .935 save percentage and a 1.59 goals against average, good for fourth in the league. Sage Broda (2.07) is also in the top 15 in that category.
Not only are all the Nordiques connecting on the ice, but they’re also connecting off the ice with their young fans very often.
“They are getting out to local elementary schools and reading to them and talking with them,” said Robichaud. “One of the schools had an awards ceremony, and our players helped to give out awards to students. It helps to put a face to the players’ names that our fans are coming to watch.”
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