ORONO — Bradly Nadeau gave University of Maine men’s hockey fans a taste of what he can do last Saturday night, picking up a pair of assists in a preseason win over the University of New Hampshire.

Thursday night in his debut at Alfond Arena, Nadeau lived up to the anticipation Black Bears fans have had for months.

A first-round pick by the Carolina Hurricanes, 30th overall pick in June’s NHL Draft, Nadeau scored a pair of goals to help the Black Bears take a 4-1 win over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in front of 4,135 fans in the season opener for both teams.

Maine dominated puck possession, outshooting the Engineers 57-13. The Black Bears’ speed was too much for RPI throughout the game.

“It wasn’t fun for them at all. That was our goal, to make them not want to come play us again (Friday),” said Maine captain Lynden Breen, who scored a power-play goal 17 seconds into the third period.

A native of Saint-Francois-de-Madawaska, New Brunswick, on the border with Aroostook County, Nadeau got his first goal 1:19 into the second period when he scored on the rebound of a Grayson Arnott shot to knot the game at 1-1.


“It was kind of fun to get that first one out of the way. Sometimes it gets to you when you want to get that first one,” Nadeau said. “For myself, playing my first game here was amazing. I’m looking forward to a lot more games.”

At 8:01, Nadeau notched a power-play goal to give the Black Bears a 2-1 lead. He positioned himself in front of the left post, took a feed from Breen to the right, and whipped a one-timer into the top of the net before RPI goalie Jack Watson had time to slide across the crease.

It appeared Nadeau had a second-period hat trick, on another power-play goal with 2.2 seconds left, but the goal was disallowed upon video review, which showed the puck had hit the netting above the glass behind the net with 46 seconds left in the period, at which point play should’ve stopped.

Nadeau had another chance at a hat trick with five minutes left in the game, but his breakaway opportunity was thwarted when he collided with an official as he crossed into the offensive zone.

“He told me after he was just trying to get out of the way. I thought he was going to go middle. Just some miscommunication there,” Nadeau said.

The Black Bears pulled away with two goals in the first minute of the third period.


First, Breen’s power-play goal off a feed from Josh Nadeau pushed Maine’s lead to 3-1 just 17 seconds into the period. Then, 49 seconds in, Nolan Renwick’s quick wrist shot from between the circles made it 4-1.

Maine spent much of the first period on the attack, outshooting the Engineers 15-4, but RPI took an early lead on a power-play goal.

Maine defenseman Liam Lesakowski was sent to the penalty box for interference just 1:01 into the game. At 2:40, RPI defenseman CJ Regula joined the rush in transition, took a feed from Sutter Muzzatti between the circles and fired a wrist shot that beat Maine goalie Victor Ostman.

Bradly Nadeau had a chance at his first Maine goal just over five minutes into the game, getting off a shot from low in the right circle, but it went right into Watson’s pads.

That seemed to be the story for Maine for the first half of the game. The shots were on net, but directly at Watson. Once Maine made Watson move around the crease and work, the goals came.

“I thought we started a little shaky, throwing pucks around, taking some unnecessary penalties in the first 10 minutes, but after that we settled down,” Maine Coach Ben Barr said. “We did our thing, which is work hard, hunt down pucks, forecheck… At this level, the goalies are good. You have to make it hard for them.”

The Black Bears had another strong scoring chance with 2:30 left in the first period, but defenseman Brandon Chabrier couldn’t get off a shot alone in front of the net.

Watson finished with 53 saves, while Ostman had 12 saves.

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