Maine Hockey Journal

Maineiacs faulter against the Junior 7-3

Lewiston, ME – Lewiston Maineiacs Head Coach Jean-Francois Houle showed his aggressiveness on a 5-on-3 power play by pulling goaltender Adrien Lemay to make it 6-on-3 late in the game. The move didn’t pay off as the Montreal Junior scored two shorthanded empty net goals to take the game 7-3 in front of 1,801 fans at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

“A lot of coaches don’t do that, but when you aren’t generating that much offense, 6-on-3 you shouldn’t be losing battles,” Jean-Francois Houle said. “A lot of times that works in your favor.”

“Our power play didn’t click once.”

The Maineiacs had a 5-on-3 power play when David Stitch received a five-minute major for hitting from behind plus a match penalty with 4:48 remaining. Montreal also received a too many men on the ice penalty with 3:08 to play.

“Overall I liked the way our (penalty kill) played,” Montreal Head Coach Pascal Vincent said. “I said stay composed, stay with our plan. Guys were anxious and we had too many men on the ice.”

Houle was impressed with Montreal’s penalty kill.

“For one, Montreal has one of the better penalty killing teams in the league,” said Houle. “They are very good with their sticks and they are in the shooting lanes.”

Jeremy Guchie tallied his third goal of the game with a shorthanded empty net goal with 2:23 to play. With two seconds remaining, Chris Thorne also added an empty net shorthanded marker.

Lewiston went 0-for-6 on the power play and Montreal was 1-for-5

Pierre-Olivier Morin drove to the net and flipped the puck by Montreal goaltender Jean-Francis Berube 2:53 into the game. The goal was his 20th of the season and leads the team with 62 points.

Lewiston went up 2-0 with 6:14 remaining in the first period as Berube let a Matthew Bissonnette shot fly right by him from the high slot.

“I am sure (Berube) would want the second goal back,” Vincent added.

“I thought we played well in the first, except for five minutes when they scored,” Houle said.

The Junior cut the Maineiacs lead to one when Matthew Brenton and Jeremy Guchie came down on a 2-on-1. Benton slid the puck to Guchie who put home his 22nd goal of the season with 2:35 to go in the first period.

“They caught us on a 2-on-1 a couple of times, we tried to be a little too aggressive tonight,” Houle added.

In the second period, Lewiston had two defensive breakdowns that led to Junior goals. The Junior scored a shorthanded goal when the Maineiacs’ defense got crossed up and Chris Thorne picked up the puck near the crease.  Adrien Lemay was hung out to dry and Thorne potted his 14th goal of the year 1:25 into the period.

“That’s the difference in the game, we didn’t score on the power play, actually we got scored against,” Houle stated.

The Junior tied the contest 5:51 later when they skated around Maineiacs defensemen Ian Saab and Zachary Evans-Renaud. Nicolas Chouinard scored with a backhanded shot while falling down in front of the crease.

“In the second period, I think the shots were 10-4 for us,” Vincent said. “We played defensively and we didn’t give much to (Lewiston).”

Michael Chaput tied the game up at three when Berube couldn’t smother a Pierre-Olivier Morin shot that fluttered towards the net. Chaput crashed the net to put the puck home 4:29 into the final period.

David Stitch gave Montreal the lead back on the power play when he fired a slap shot from the blue line 8:47 into the period to give the Junior the 4-3 lead.

“Our power play scored at the right time,” Vincent pointed out.

Jeremy Guchie added his second goal of the game with 5:40 to play as he had a wide open shooting lane.

Lemay made 25 stops in the loss. At the other end,  Burube made 26 saves.

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