Maine Hockey Journal

A Wild One in Baie-Comeau

Baie-Comeau, QC- If you missed the Maineiacs season opener, you can see the game on ESPN Classic because it was an instant classic. The Lewiston Maineiacs skated past the Baie-Comeau Drakkar 6-5 in overtime. Both teams were rusty to begin the game but once they got going, the action followed. The Maineiacs were led by Marc Bourgeois and Lucas LaBelle. Bourgeois had two goals and an assist. LaBelle had two key goals to keep the game close in the third.

The first shift of the season didn’t get off to the right foot; Dominic Savoie visited the sin bin 25 seconds in the contest. Matt Bourdeau tried to capitalize on a 2 on 1 on the penalty kill but Marek Benda made the stop. The Drakkar had one great opportunity on their first powerplay of the season. A shot was let go from the point and hit the crossbar. The referees went to the video review but the call wasn’t overturned.

Lewiston would go on the powerplay; Denis Reul got cross-checked from behind by Gabriel Bourque. The Maineiacs would struggle to get the puck out of their own end. No real chances came on the powerplay.

Newly acquired Maxime Gratchev showed his stick-handling abilities when he danced around the Baie-Comeau defenders. Marek Benda was able to stop him. Just after the media timeout, Sean Stagles started a 4 on 2 rush for the Maineiacs. They couldn’t convert on the chance.

Dany Coulombe, one of the Maineiacs’ rookie defenseman, was called for cross-checking at the 14:28 mark. This time the Drakkar made the Maineiacs pay. Guillaume Goulet let a shot go at the top of the circle, Jonathan Connelly couldn’t control the rebound and Marc-André Laroche was sitting beside the Lewiston’s net and he put the puck in the net. The goal came 12 seconds after the penalty.

The Maineiacs would go into the first intermission on the powerplay; Roman Malinik went to the box with 27 seconds remaining in the stanza.

As bad as the first period started, it was an even better start to the second period. Lewiston quickly tied the game with a goal by Alexander Beaton, 41 seconds into the second. Dominic Savoie won’t remember his first assist of the season as he was laid out at the Drakkar blueline. Beaton picked the puck up and threw it on the net for the goal.

The game wouldn’t stay tied long as Beaton went to the box at the 2:11 mark. Tom Michalik would join him a minute later. Baie-Comeau would start to pepper the Maineiacs rookie netminder. Connelly tried to make a sprawling save but Gabriel Bourque was able to lift the puck past him. The goal came 3:55 into the second.

Connelly got some redemption on Bourque as he made a nice save on him. Lewiston had a great chance on a powerplay when three Maineiacs tried to get the puck past Benda.

A strange sequence happened when Maxime Ouimet of the Drakkar knocked his own net off the moorings as the puck sat by the net. The referees called a delay of game penalty and the fans let the officials have it. Ten seconds later, Dominic Savoie got called for slashing.

The game would remain 2-1 as the period came to an end.

In the third period it was a game within the game. Just like the start of the second, the Maineiacs controlled the play. Marc Bourgeois got his first of the season, 69 seconds into the third. Assists went to Sean Stagles and Billy Lacasse. Baie-Comeau used their timeout right after that. Pierre-Luc Lessard went to the penalty box at the 4:15 mark in the third. 20 seconds later Denis Reul let a shot go and Bourgeois tipped it in for his second of the game. Stagles would get his second assist.

Guillaume Goulet would receive a homerun pass from Marc-André Laroche and he slid it through Connelly’s five hole. Felix Petit got a secondary assist at 7:51 mark. Lessard would redeem himself by giving the Drakkar the 4-3 lead. He let a shot go just below the blue line. Félix Petit and Antoine Létourneau grabbed the assists. That goal came with 10:24 remaining.

Lucas LaBelle would get the game back at even with a goal at the 11:16 mark. He received a pass from the end boards and stuffed it home. Étienne Brodeur and Garrett Clarke, two of the Maineiacs first round picks got the helpers.

With 6:09 remaining in the contest, Stéphane Michaud blasted a shot pass Connelly to give Baie-Comeau the 5-4 lead. Maxime Ouimet and David Lizotte got the helpers on the play.

LaBelle would come to the Maineiacs rescue again at the 15:19 mark. Maxime Gratchev and Eric Gelinas would set the play up. It was another powerplay tally.

The game would remain tied and went to overtime. Baie-Comeau would get the first chance in the extra session. The puck was sitting near the Maineiacs crease but the Drakkar couldn’t grab the puck in time. The Maineiacs would take the puck and race up the ice. Billy Lacasee let a wrister go and it lit the lamp to give the MAINEiacs the thrilling 6-5 win, the goal came 64 seconds into extra time. Marc Bourgeois got the only assist.

Jonathan Connelly recorded his first QMJHL victory by stopping 17 of the 22 shots he saw. Marek Benda lost in his Baie-Comeau debut; he stopped 24 shots. The Maineiacs were 4 for 8 with the man advantage. The Drakkar were 3 for 6 on the powerplay.

The official three stars were:

3. Felix Petit (Baie-Comeau)

2. Guillaume Goulet (Baie-Comeau)

1. Marc Bourgeois (Lewiston)

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