Maine Hockey Journal

Five-goal first period extends Maineiacs’ winning-streak to seven

Lewiston, ME — A five-goal first period propelled the Lewiston Maineiacs (15-7-0-2, 32 pts) to a 6-1 win over the Baie-Comeau Drakkar (1-18-2-3, 7 pts) on Saturday night at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee, extending their winning streak to seven games.

“It is important to come out strong against teams like that,” said Lewiston Head Coach Jean Francois Houle, “You need to come out strong in the first period and make a statement right away.”

Make a statement they did, as Etienne Brodeur chipped in with two goals and an assist in that first period barrage and Stefan Fournier had a goal and an assist as the Maineiacs jumped up big and never looked back.

Cameron Critchlow scored the game’s first goal when he stuffed a backhand through the legs of Baie-Comeau goalie Jason Missiaen at 4:03.

Just over a minute later, the puck deflected of a defensemen’s skate to Jess Tanguy right in front of the Drakkar net. Tanguy patiently waited for Missiaen to commit before he slipped the puck to Etienne Brodeur who calmly deposited it into a wide-open frame.

The Maineiacs would extend their lead to 5-0 before the end of the first. At 13:38 Fournier took a feed from Brodeur in stride and beat Missiaen five-hole. The goal ended the night for Missaien, however his replacement Simon Giroux wouldn’t fare much better.

Fournier would then hook up with his younger brother Dillon Fournier in assisting Olivier Dame-Malka’s eighth goal of the season at 14:38, before Brodeur tallied his second marker of the game, and his league-leading 20th goal of the season, at 18:29.

Staked to a five-goal lead heading into the second period, the Lewiston defense and penalty kill went to work, with Nicolas Champion keeping the sheet clean any time the puck found its way towards net.

“Once we got up in the first period we were kind of clogged and up and just threw it back in their zone. It was nice to get a couple goals early, and I thought everybody played well,” said Houle.

The Lewiston lead would grow to 6-0 after two periods of play thanks to a goal from Sam Henley at 14:40, while the zero in the Baie-Comeau score column would remain thanks in large to a perfect five-for-five on the penalty kill in the second period.

The shutout bid was spoiled at 18:08 of the third period when Alexandre Durette beat Antoine Bibeau, who was in net for Lewiston in relief of Champion, on the power play. Lewiston had killed off the previous seven consecutive Baie-Comeau man-advantages.

“The goal that went in there was off the boards, so it was kind of a shaky play,” said Houle, who sees a great deal of promise in the 16-year old Bibeau, “He’s been doing well in Midget Triple-A and we are very happy to have him on our roster. He’s a good goalie.”

Champion and Bibeau would combine to make 17 saves in the win over Drakkar. Champion would make 12 saves on 12 shots to earn the win and improve to 14-3 on the year.

At the other end of the rink, Giroux and Missiaen would allow three goals apiece in the 6-1 drubbing. Missiaen would suffer the loss and fall to 0-15.

“Every team is a good team in this league and you have to come ready to play,” said Houle, whose Maineiacs team will bounce back in less than 24 hours to face Baie-Comeau Sunday afternoon, “Anything can happen, so you’ve got to work hard. On any given night the hardest working team usually wins.”

Three Stars of the Game:
1. Etienne Brodeur – LEW
2. Olivier Dame-Malka – LEW
3. Stefan Fournier – LEW

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