Maine Hockey Journal

Maineiacs tied for best record in QMJHL with win

Lewiston, ME – The Lewiston Maineiacs put on a show for the 2,117 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée on Wednesday night putting up seven goals to beat the Chicoutimi Saguenéens, 7-4.

It was their sixth straight home win and places them at the top of the QMJHL along with the Saint John Sea Dogs and Québec Remparts. After a record-setting flurry of goals midway through the first, the Maineiacs kept at least a 2 goal cushion over Chicoutimi the entire night.

Zach Evans-Renaud had four assists and Etienne Brodeur had a goal for his QMJHL league leading 24th goal along with three assists to lead the Maineiacs in points.

The beginning of first period showed a lot of action on both ends of the rink, but no results.

Pucks were lying in the crease behind goalies, forwards were breaking past defensemen, but the score sheet remained blank until the Maineiacs were rewarded the first goal of the night showing tremendous hustle in keeping the puck in their offensive zone.

Michael Chaput won a race to a loose puck at the blue line and sent it back deep into the zone. Brodeur scrambled to retain possession, throwing it in front where the puck deflected off Saguenéens goalie Robin Gusse to Pierre-Olivier Morin, who tapped the puck into the net at the 9:15 mark of the first period.

The Maineiacs blew the game wide open in a 52-second span, setting a new team record for the fastest three goals scored.

Kirill Kabanov doubled his goal count for the year putting in his first of two on the night. A hard shot from the point was tipped by Alex Zafiris, who a pass to Kabanov in the crease, beating Gusse at 13:07 of the first period.

With former Maineiacs defenseman Eric Gélinas in the box for hooking, Jess Tanguay ripped a slap shot from the point to beat Gusse high after he dropped to his knees trying to see the shot only 12 seconds into the man advantage at the 13:47 mark of the period.

Brodeur landed his goal 12 seconds later on a breakaway when he pick-pocketed a Saguenéens defenseman, firing a wrist shot by Gusse between his legs.

Chicoutimi finally got on the board with four minutes left in the first period after some finesse from Charles Hudon for his seventh goal of the season, scoring unassisted as he toe-dragged his way past the Maineiacs defense and perfectly placing the puck out of reach of Lewiston netminder Nicholas Champion.

The Saguenéens came out hot in the second and it looked as though they were going to get themselves back within reach.

An interference penalty on Morin, allowed Chicoutimi to make it, 4-2, by taking advantage of the man advantage on a goal by Guillaume Asselin.
Chicoutimi missed a golden opportunity only two minutes later when they had a 2-0 breakaway opportunity, but Champion robbed them with a huge sprawling save.

The Maineiacs were back up three goals with 12:43 left in the second on a perfectly executed faceoff play.

The draw won to defenseman Evans-Renaud, who whipped it around behind the net where Brodeur was waiting to make a sharp pass in front to Morin for a one-timed shot.

The Maineiacs and Saguenéens traded a goal apiece for the remainder of the second period as the theme of the game shifted from concentrated hockey, to post-whistle skirmishes and heavy taunting.

Chicoutimi controlled the puck in their offensive zone virtually the entire half of the third period.

The Maineiacs looked distracted and the physicality of the game took them out of focus.

A goal finally came at 12:43 of the final period after the Maineiacs took a penalty for too many men on the ice. Hudon scored his second of the night while on the power play with a beautiful blue line slap shot.

It took a penalty from Chicoutimi’s Alexandre Roy to give the Maineiacs a much needed advantage and help them regain composure. Controlling the puck in the offensive zone for the first time in the period, Lewiston moved the puck fluently, scoring for the final goal of the night as Chaput found his own rebound, beating Gusse at 8:49 of the period to give Lewiston a commanding 7-4 win.

Champion recorded his 10th straight win and 15th of his last 16, making 31 saves. Robin Gusse stopped 34 of 41 shots in the loss.

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