Maine Hockey Journal

Lewiston went to the Max

Lewiston, ME- Overtime is money for the Lewiston Maineiacs. They improved to 3-0 in the extra frame and 2-0 in the shootout as they defeated the Chicoutimi Sagueneens 4-3. Maxime Gratchev was the hero twice for the Maineiacs. He tied the game at 2 halfway through the third period.

“I play with all emotion out there,” said Maxime Gratchev on his two goals to tie the game twice.

With eight second left in the contest, he tipped in Eric Gelinas shot to send the game to overtime. Phillip Wright turned away 18 shots in the victory.

Lewiston had a great chance when a shot was fired and tricked past François Lévesque. The net was knocked out of place. The Maineiacs had another chance when Michael Chaput fired a shot on net. It also led to a Sagueneens chance. Chicoutimi had its first powerplay when Michael Ward went off for holding at the just before the three minute mark. The penalty was killed off.

The Maineiacs went on the powerplay when Antoine Roussel went to the sin bin for high sticking at the 6:15 mark. Jacob Lagace stole the puck and broke into the Lewiston zone shorthanded. He roofed it past Phillip Wright 20 seconds into the Maineiacs powerplay. Nicolas Deschamps got the lone helper. Lewiston couldn’t respond on the man advantage.

It was a back and forth game for the latter half of the stanza. Marc Bourgeois snapped a shot but François Lévesque flashed the leather. With 2:19 remaining, Ward stepped up and fired a shot past Lévesque. Bouregois and Maxime Gratchev got the helpers.

Once again the Maineiacs came out firing. They controlled the play for the fist minute. Danick Paquette tossed a Chicoutimi player over the Sagueneens bench. A minor scuffle broke out; Paquette and Luc-Olivier Blain each got two minutes for delay of game 2:25 into the period. Garrett Clarke took a penalty with 13:47 remaining for holding.

Michael Chaput had a shorthanded chance but was called for interfering with the goaltender at the 6:38 mark. Phillip Wright made a nice save as the puck sitting in the crease. Chicoutimi would capitalize with Sébastien Rioux first of the night. The puck trickled past Wright. The assists went to Lagace and Nicolas Therrien. Wright made another big save on the end of Chaput’s penalty.

Lewiston was able to put pressure on Lévesque after the media timeout. Lévesque was on his A game as the Maineiacs had very good scoring chances. Both teams started to exchange pleasantries by Lévesque’s net. Gratchev went off for roughing with 6:13 remaining. The Maineiacs were working down low with less then two minutes to go. They created multiple scoring chances. With 47 seconds left, another scuffle took place in the neutral zone. Gratchev picked up the extra penalty as Bourgeois and Christopher Guay got matching minors.

Wright made a gracious save as he made a gloves save. Lewiston was able to kill Gratchev’s penalty off. The Maineiacs threw the puck on François Lévesque and started to celebrate as it appeared to go in. The original call was no goal and stood as the play went to replay.

Lévesque got two minutes for delay of game 13:36 into the third. 40 seconds into the powerplay, Eric Gelinas went to the sin bin. Chaput had a nice open ice hit. At the end of the Gelinas penalty, the puck was flicked into the neutral zone to Gratchev. He skated down the right side boards and snapped it home. Paquette got the only assist. The goal came with 10:45 to go. He had a Theo Fluery goal celebration.

“It my character I am always excited when the team scores,” said Gratchev.

Paquette went to the box five seconds after the goal. Sébastien Rioux made the Maineiacs pay as he blasted one from the top of the slot. Olivier Ouellet set up the play 55 seconds into the powerplay. Gelinas went off with 8:20 to go for holding. Lewiston killed that penalty off.

Michael Belanger went to the sin bin with 6:19 remaining for tripping. The Maineiacs started a lot of chances behind Wright as they tried to breakout of their own zone. Ward got called for high sticking at the 15:36 mark.

With eight seconds left, Gelinas fired a shot just inside the blue line and deflected off Gratchev’s stick to send the game into overtime. Marc Bourgeois also picked up an assist on the goal.

Both teams had chances in the extra frame. Lewiston had a powerplay with 25 seconds left. Dominic Jalbert went took the penalty.

In the shootout, Chicoutimi went first. Lagace went first but lost control of the puck. Lucas LaBelle took the Maineiacs first shot but missed. Ouellet rang one of the post. It was Max Gratchev to shoot for Lewiston. He beat Lévesque but the net was knocked off it’s moorings as the puck crossed the line. The goal was reviewed but stood as a no goal. Joel Champagne rang one off the crossbar. Paquette was turned away on his attempt. After Roussel missed his attempt, the game was on Alexander Beaton’s stick. He beat Lévesque low on the glove side.

Phillip Wright made 18 saves in the victory. François Lévesque turned away 32 shots. The Sagueneens were 2 for 9 on the powerplay. Lewiston was 0 for 4. The three stars were:

3. Michael Ward

2. Jacob Lagace

1. Maxime Gratchev

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