ORONO — By now, University of Maine men’s hockey fans know that something special can happen at any time brothers Josh and Bradly Nadeau are on the ice together. Every pass they make now is one they’ve made countless times on the rink at their family farm in St.-Francois-de-Madawaska, New Brunswick.

In front of a sold-out crowd of 5,043 Friday night at Alfond Arena against rival New Hampshire, the connection between the Nadeau brothers was on full display. Josh Nadeau scored a hat trick, with Bradly assisting on all three goals, helping the Black Bears take a 5-2 win.

“It’s something we’ve worked on our whole lives. He makes a great pass, and I finish,” Josh Nadeau said.

Ranked No. 11 in the USCHO.com poll, Maine improved to 7-3-1 overall, 4-2-1 in Hockey East. No. 15 UNH is now 7-4-1 overall and 4-1-1 in league play.

The Black Bears are 4-0-1 at Alfond Arena. They host UConn at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Nadeau completed his hat trick with a power-play goal at 7:54 of the third period, converting a pass from Bradly to push the Black Bears’ lead to 5-1.


The brothers showed their flair for the dramatic and their on-ice chemistry when Josh Nadeau gave Maine a 3-1 lead late in the second period. Bradly, the Carolina Hurricanes’ first-round pick in June, made a move to slip past a Wildcats defender, dangled the puck as he attacked the net to draw goalie Jakob Hellsten’s attention, then made a perfect pass to Josh skating in from the right for the goal at 18:32.

“They do things you don’t teach them to do. They want to make a play every time they touch the puck,” Maine Coach Ben Barr said.

The Black Bears tied the game at 1-1 with just three seconds left in the first period on Josh Nadeau’s first power-play goal. Lynden Breen won the faceoff to Bradly Nadeau, who passed to his brother for a one-timer.

That momentum carried into the second period, where the Black Bears wasted no time in taking control.

Maine grabbed a 2-1 lead 23 seconds into the second when Thomas Freel slipped a shot past Hellsten just before the net came off its pegs. Brandon Holt and Harrison Scott assisted on the goal.

“They scored off the faceoff play, then they scored the first shift of the second. I thought the momentum of the game completely swung,” UNH Coach Mike Souza said.


The Black Bears scored three power-play goals, two by Josh Nadeau and one from Donovan Villeneuve-Houle at 5:55 of the third that gave Maine a 4-1 lead. Houle knocked home the rebound of Brandon Chabrier’s shot from the point.

Freshman Albin Boija made his first collegiate start in net for Maine. He made 18 saves, allowing a Harrison Blaisdell goal at 13:35 of the first on a 2-on-1 break seconds after Maine completed an unsuccessful power play, and a power-play goal to Steven Sardarian at 17:38 of the third.

“He was good. I thought he made some good saves as the game went on. I’m sure he had some nerves,” Barr said. “It was kind of a choppy game. It wasn’t pretty either way.”

Boija played the final 9 minutes and 20 seconds of Maine’s last game in relief of Victor Ostman, a 5-4 loss to Boston University on Nov. 18. After Ostman started the first 10 games of the season, Boija said Barr told him he’d start Friday’s game after Thursday’s practice.

“It was fun to play and get in there. The boys did good work in front of me,” Boija said.

Hellsten made 27 stops for the Wildcats.

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