Lewiston natives among the 25 players who are part of the Nordiques' opening-day roster in their inaugural season.
Alex Rivet, right, celebrates with Joshua Malone after Malone scored for the L/A Nordiques in March. Rivet had an assist on the play. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal file photo
LEWISTON -- The Maine Nordiques officially named their 25-man roster Wednesday, and a pair of former Lewiston High School standouts will suit up for the Tier II junior hockey team as it opens its inaugural season.
The Nordiques begin their NAHL season Friday on the road against the Northeast Generals in Attleboro, Massachusetts.
"It took a long time to put this roster together through recruiting, having player's advisers reaching out to us, contacts, and all the staff working together bringing this group together through the pre-draft camp, open camp, 44-man camp, training camp, and now finally we are here at our first initial 25-man protected list," Maine Nordiques director of player recruitment and advancement Cam Robichaud said. "We are happy to have what we have. We have some speed, grit, skill, some more defensive players, great goaltending, really good character guys."
Highlighted on the roster are two Lewiston-born players, defenseman Cole Ouellette and forward Alex Rivet, who were both tendered by the team in the spring.
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Ouellette graduated from Lewiston High School in 2017 and played for the L/A Nordiques of the NA3HL the past two seasons. During that time, he was one of the league's best players and was named the NA3HL's Defenseman and Rookie of the Year in 2018 after recording 18 goals and 41 assists in 45 games played. In the playoffs he had another two goals and three assists. He was even more prolific his second year, racking up 16 goals and 71 assists in 44 games.
Rivet had 14 goals and 14 assists in 25 games for Middlesex Prep in Concord, Massachusetts, in 2018-19 before joining the L/A Nordiques for the playoff run, during which he tallied 10 goals and an assist in eight games.
"I feel like I have adjusted to more of how the junior game is played, that has help me a lot," Rivet said of the Nordiques tryout process. "It's good to get that going into the season. I need (to be ready) for the 13th (of September)."
Of the 25 players on the roster, 21 were either drafted or tendered by the Nordiques in the spring.
Forward Stephen Owens and defenseman Ethan Prout were free agent invites from the Richmond Generals of the USPHL Premier League.
"Stefan Owens and Ethan Prout both played for the Generals for R.C Lyke, he's a contact, I actually coached against him a handful of years ago," Robichaud said. "Coach Matt Pinchevsky is also a contact with him. He had reached out and Coach Pinchevsky and R.C Lyke spoke in great detail about the two boys and we invited them to the 44-man camp.
"Both of them really stood out. The report we got out on them was extremely accurate."
Another free agent invite to make the team is goaltender Avery Sturtz, who had an outstanding camp with the Cedar Roughriders of the United States Hockey League but came to the Nordiques for a better chance of more playing time.
"I think it was a little bit of a numbers game there, they had an older goaltender who they thought was going to school but ended up getting pushed (back) a year," Robichaud said. "I think (Sturtz) is someone who can get to the Tier I USHL level. Maybe a half of a season, maybe a full season here in the North American Hockey League. He's a high character kid, competitive, strong goaltender that we are really excited to have."
The final free agent that made the team was Sam Harris.
The Nordiques have to cut their roster to 23 players by Oct. 1.
Goalies: Connor Androlewicz, Avery Sturtz
Defensemen: Jacob Crespo, Cale DuBrul, Kylar Fenton, Tyler Harvey, Derek Hessinger, Cole Ouellette, Ethan Prout, Casper Söderling
Forwards: Makem Demers, Vincent DeSanctis, Simon Ellingson, Isaiah Fox, Cannon Green, Trent Grimshaw, Sam Harris, Noah Kane, Filip Löfdahl, Matt Minerva, Stephen Owens, Kevin Pitts, Alex Rivet, Manny Sanchez, Jack Strauss
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