The Maine Nordiques are creating competition in goal for the upcoming season.

Tuesday night, the team announced goaltender Gavin Fitzpatrick signed a North American Hockey League tender with the organization. The Fitzpatrick tender signing is the extra tender the NAHL allowed teams to use after the NAHL Supplemental Draft, which was held on May 12.

The 18-year old Fitzpatrick has spent the the past three seasons with Thayer Academy in Braintree, Mass. This past season he appeared in 25 games with a 2.65 goals-against-average and a .917 save percentage.

He was a Thayer teammate of Twin City Thunder NCDC Futures Draft Pick Michael Stenberg.

Fitzpatrick is the second goalie the Nordiques tendered, after they signed Holy Cross commit Kyle Chauvette earlier this offseason.

“It was an opportunity to add to our depth, goaltending is a premium position,” Maine Nordiques director of hockey operations and head coach Nolan Howe said on Wednesday. “The biggest thing with the tenders and the draft picks is trying to increase our competition within our building and putting the best young men and best hockey players, guys we see long futures with us, and position to compete. Gavin, in particular, checked a lot of boxes for us.”

Howe also stated Fitzgerald has a terrific attitude and has a good head on his shoulders.

It will be a camp battle in the crease with the additions of Fitzpatrick and Chauvette. Howe said returners Avery Sturtz and Marco Duronio will also be competing for spots along with the Maine Nordiques Prep Academy goalies and other free agent invitees at main camp.

The overcrowding in goal heading into the season is because Howe wouldn’t be surprised if one of the goaltenders makes a United States Hockey League roster this offseason. Last year the organization had Sturtz and Connor Androlewicz get called up to the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers.

The 6-foot, 170-pound Norwood, Mass. native was a member of Team USA’s U-17 Team that competed in the 2018 Five Nations Tournament. Fitzpatrick went 0-2 in the tournament. Biddeford native Jack Williams was also a member of that team.

Fitzpatrick was taken in the first round by the Halifax Mooseheads in the 2018 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League American Draft.

The Nordiques have one more mandatory tender to use prior to the NAHL Entry Draft, which takes place on July 21, and that has to be used on a North American Prospects Hockey League U18 player. Teams must use a tender on each of the NAHL’s developmental leagues the NAPHL U18 and U16 leagues and the NA3HL. The teamed used its NA3HL tender on Lewiston native Sam Frechette and its NAPHL U16 tender on University of Vermont commit Jack Kurrle.

A tender is a contract that gives a team a player’s NAHL rights, and the player cannot be drafted or signed by another NAHL team. The player, however, can sign with another team in another junior league.

NORDIQUES CANCEL PRE-DRAFT CAMP

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Maine Nordiques will not have their pre-draft camp, which was supposed to be held July 17-19 at Androscoggin Bank Colisee prior to the NAHL Entry Draft.

“We decided this year to cancel our pre-draft camp,” Howe said last Thursday. “It’s disappointing. Last year we had tremendous success with that camp as far as producing a lot of our draft picks and (it had) some great competition. It was a great chance to see our tendered players and things of that nature. I know we were looking forward to it this year, but we decided with the landscape it’s best to focus on our main camp.”

Howe said the main camp will take place in early August at the Colisee and he believes the camp won’t be open to fans.

Last year, the Nordiques had 44-players invited to main camp along with with the Maine Nordiques Development Program’s U-18 team. Howe said it will be a slightly larger main camp this year, with anywhere from 66-88 players with the Maine Nordiques Prep Academy U16 and U18 Teams taking part.

“The goal is going to be NAHL-caliber guys that we anticipate really competing for spots,” Howe said last Thursday. “The competition should be fierce. I don’t imagine that will be opened to the public, but I know everyone is excited and wants to get back onto the ice.”

The Twin City Thunder had already moved its main camp, that was scheduled for July 9-12, to August 19-23.

NCDC TEAMS TO PLAY EXHIBITION GAMES AGAINST TOP WOMEN’S PLAYERS

On Friday, the USPHL’s National Collegiate Development Conference and the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association that there will be a series of games between the NCDC and the PWHPA teams. As of right now it’s undetermined who the Twin City Thunder will play, as dates, opponents and location of games have yet to be announced.

The PWHPA is made up of a group of women’s players who came together after the Canadian Women’s Hockey League ceased operations in the spring of 2019. The goal of the organization is to promote a single, viable women’s hockey league.

Some players who play with the PWHPA include Team USA forward Kendall Coyne Schofield, who also competed in the 2019 NHL All-Star Skills competition as a participant in the fastest skater competition. Other USA Olympians include goalie Nicole Hensley and forwards Gigi Marvin, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux and Monique Lamoureux. Team Canada forward Marie-Philip Poulin, who has been described as the Sidney Crosby of women’s hockey, also was a part of the PWHPA last season.

This season there will be five regional training hubs for the PWHPA, located in Calgary, Toronto and Montreal in Canada, while New Hampshire and Minnesota will be hubs in the United States.

In addition to the PWHPA, there’s also the National Women’s Hockey League, which has six teams in Boston, Buffalo, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Jersey and Toronto.

It’s common for elite women’s teams to play high school and junior-aged men’s teams. In Oct. 2013, the Team USA women’s team defeated the Portland Jr. Pirates U18 team, 4-0, at the University of Southern Maine as Team USA began to prepare for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

THUNDER SIGN JOEY POTTER

The Twin City Thunder continue to add to its defense after 17-year-old Joey Potter signed a National Collegiate Development Conference tender.

The 17-year-old Los Angeles, California native spent the past two seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite organization. This past season with the U16 team, the 5-foot-10, 176-pound defender had eight goals and nine assists in 46 games.

In the 2018-19 season with the U15 team, he had 12 goals and 10 assists in 56 games.

Potter becomes the eighth defender the Thunder has acquired this offseason. Previously the Thunder tendered Nathan Magier, Andriiy YevtukhovSawyer SmithLogan Radtke, and Jack Gilligan. The team also took Andrew Cole and Louis Pelland in the NCDC Draft last month.

Potter’s sister Laney is already committed to the University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team for the 2023-24 season.

THUNDER TENDER MATUS HADUSOVSKY ON SLOVAKIAN NATIONAL TEAM RADAR

The first NCDC tender for the Thunder, Matus Hadusovsky will be attending a Slovakian Under-18 Team national camp in July.

The camp is a part of the process for choosing the roster for the national team that will compete at major international competitions like the International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Under-18 Championships, which is usually held in April.

Hadusovsky, a 17-year-old native of Spisska Nova Ves, Slovakia, spent last season with the United States Premier Hockey League’s Springfield Pics. With the U16 team, Hadusovsky had 41 goals and 26 assists in 27 regular season USPHL U16 games, while adding three goals and two assists in three playoff games. He was the MVP of the USPHL U16 All-Star game. He also appeared in two games with the the Pic Elite junior hockey team, where he had two goals and an assist.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.