Maine Hockey Journal

Maineiacs defeat high-powered Quebec

Lewiston, ME — The Lewiston Maineiacs returned to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Wednesday Night with the daunting task of hosting a Quebec Remparts squad, who ranked number one in the Canadian Hockey League coming into Wednesday night.

But the Maineiacs never waivered and stood more than toe-to-toe with the high powered Remparts to win, 4-3, behind a late third period goal from Cameron Critchlow and a pair of markers from Etienne Brodeur, who now leads the league with 17 goals. One shy of his season total from the 2009-‘10 campaign.

“Brodeur played extremely well again, he’s coming up with some huge goals for us,” said Lewiston Head Coach Jean-Francois Houle. “He’s got it going and he has good confidence right now.”

Anyone who expected Lewiston to be intimidated by the number one ranked team in the CHL would be sorely mistaken early on in this one.

The Maineiacs, who were ranked second in the East behind the Remparts coming into the game, dominated play in the first period, keeping the puck in the offensive zone, finishing checks and outshooting Quebec 11-4 in the opening frame.

Etienne Brodeur was able to solve Quebec goaltender Louis Dominigue at 12:59, as he scored his 16th goal of the season to lift Lewiston to a 1-0 lead. The ever-opportunistic Brodeur finished off a rebound via a Zachary Shannon shot.

As expected, Quebec came out with great fervor in the second period and found an equalizer just over two minutes in. Mikael Tam’s shot from just below the circle to the right of Lewiston net minder Nicolas Champion rang the post and off Champion’s back and spun just over line before the goalie could swipe it back with his glove.

The Remparts would grab the lead at 2-1 later in the period at 14:05 on a tip in goal from Ryan Bourque.

With just under a minute left in the second period, Lewiston responded with a crucial goal to salvage a 2-2 tie heading into the second intermission. Jess Tanguy roofed a wrist shot past Dominigue to send the Androscoggin Bank Colisee see into a frenzy.

“That late goal, that second goal that made it 2-2 was key to the game,” said Houle. “It was a big boost. We went through a low stretch there for seven minutes where nothing was happening. That goal was a big momentum changer.”

At 6:49 of the third period Samuel Henley picked up a tripping penalty to give Quebec the power play.

Moments later, at 7:08 Brodeur put home his second goal of the game with a shorthanded breakaway goal to give Lewiston their second lead of the night.

But the power play would roll on, and the back-and-forth affair would continue when Martin Lefebvre’s shot deflected off Joel Champagne’s skate and then off the post before finding the back of the net at 8:35.

“Every time we got a lead tonight it seemed like a bad bounce tied it back up,” said Champion, who was quick to deflect any praise towards his defense. “Sometimes that can be disheartening especially when you are playing such a good team. (The defense) did a great job of not letting that bother them, and they really had my back tonight. I respect them.”

Eventually, Critchlow put an end to this topsy-turvy affair with his sixth goal of the season to put Lewiston up for good 4-3.

Under four minutes left, the Maineiacs took of on a three-on-one with a chance to put the game away, however Dominigue stoned two point-blank attempts from Brodeur to breathe life back into the Remparts. Overall Dominigue (12-1) turned aside 21 of the 25 shots he faced as he suffered his first loss of the season.

At the other end of the rink Champion made 19 saves on 22 shots to pick up the win.

“It’s scary, but that’s the kind of game you want to play,” said Brodeur of the back-and-forth nature of the contest. “It’s like a playoff kind of game, I love it.”

Playoff intensity in November, and the Maineiacs announced to the Remparts and the rest of the league that they are for real.

Three Stars of the Game:
1. Etienne Brodeur – LEW
2. Cameron Critchlow – LEW
3. Mikael Tam – QUE

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