Maine Hockey Journal

Maineiacs suffer six-goal route in return home

Lewiston, ME – After a weekend sweep against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, the Lewiston Maineiacs (8-6-0-2, 18 pts.) returned to the friendly confines of the Androscoggin Bank Colisee with a not-so-friendly welcoming by the Shawinigan Cataractes (7-6-0-1, 15 pts.) whose balanced attack dropped the home team 6-0.

Shawinigan had nine different players records points and five different goal scorers and Gabriel Girard kept a clean sheet between the pipes in the six-goal route that put an end to Lewiston’s brief three-game winning streak.

Two of those goals came off the stick of former Maineiac Jean-Francois Plante.

“It was pretty exciting, pretty weird to see my old teammates out on the ice,” said Plante on his return to the Androscoggin Bank Arena. “But I had to focus on my game. I was pretty excited to play here, so I’m just excited that it went well”

The two teams spent the first 13:42 of their first meeting sparring before Shawinigan dealt the first blow in the first game of the season between the two sides. Loik Poudrier collected the puck in the neutral zone after it had taken a hop over the stick of Dillon Fournier and took off on a breakaway to beat Andrey Makarov top shelf to give Shawinigan the 1-0 lead.

At 10:28 in the second period, a bouncing puck would again lead to a Shawinigan goal. Lewiston’s Etienne Brodeur was unable to clear a bounding puck before Dave Labreque heaved it at the net and Benjamin Casavant tipped it home to extend the Cataractes lead to 2-0.

“It’s a matter of being opportunistic,” said Shawinigan head coach Eric Veilleux following the game. “Being able to score, or create scoring chances when those mistakes happen. And tonight, that’s what we did.”

The Shawinigan lead would grow three minutes later when Plante scored his first goal of the year.

“That is the best I’ve seen him play,” added Veilleux of Plante’s efforts. “I told him that’s the way you need to play to get into the lineup.”

Perhaps the biggest story for the Maineiacs over the weekend in Baie-Comeau was their penalty kill that warded of 15 attempts in two games. However, Shawinigan was able to solve the Lewiston penalty kill in the second during a 53 second five-on-three with Brodeur in the box for hooking and Malka for slashing.

Makarov was able to make the initial save from point blank range on Maximilien Le Sieur, but the put deflected off his shoulder and off the glass behind the net. The ricochet sat back in front of the opposite side of the net where Labreque was there to put the puck past a sprawling Makarov to make it 4-0 Shawinigan heading into the second intermission.

Shawinigan would tack on two more goals in the third period. The first came just 1:56 seconds in thanks to Plante’s second goal of the game and season. Marc-Antoine Goyette would round out the scoring at 7:10 with his second of the season by scoring on a one-time feed by Mitchell Maynard, 6-0 Shawinigan.

“I thought they outworked us, out skated us, and out competed us,” said Lewiston head coach Jean-Francois Houle, “They played much better than we did. We were flat and I’m very disappointed.”

Girard was a perfect 31-for-31 on saves in net for Shawinigan to pick up his first shutout of the year to improve to 5-5.

For Lewiston, Markov also made 31 saves, however he was beat six times and suffered the loss to drop to 1-6.

“I feel bad for [Markov], he kept us in it in the first,” said Houle of his tough luck goaltender. “The guys had a bad game in front of him, none of this was his fault. The effort we gave in front of him was not good.

“Maybe three players played hard. It’s always the same guys and I’m tired of it. Guys like [Samuel] Henley. He shows up and blocks shots, back checks. We need more warriors like that.”

The Three Stars of the Game:
1. Jean-Francois Plante – SHA
2. Michael Bournival – SHA
3. Gabriel Girard – SHA

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