Friday, October 02, 2009

MAINEiacs COMEBACK WIN

  MAINeiacs

BY LEWISTON MAINEiacs
COLOR ANALYST DJ ABISALIH

Fans in Lewiston certainly don't need a reminder as to how dominant the Drummondville Voltigeurs were one year ago. The Voltigeurs won five of their six regular season tilts against the Lewiston Maineiacs, before sweeping past the Maineiacs in a one-sided playoff series on their way to a President's Cup Championship. On Thursday night, Drummondville entered the Androscoggin Bank Colisee with a 6-0 record, allowing just seven goals all season long. Those factors were certainly causes for concern, especially when the Voltigeurs built a 3-0 lead in a matter of 14 minutes. However, this Lewiston squad has shown the ability to be a resilient bunch. The Maineiacs fought back to tie the game, and even took the lead at one point, before Drummondville forced overtime and eventually a shootout. Sebastien Trudeau and Alex Beaton each tallied in the shootout, giving the home team a dramatic 5-4 victory.

The first period served as a bad trip down memory lane for Lewiston, as the Voltigeurs wasted little time in picking up where they had left off a season ago. Drummondville captain Marc-Olivier Vachon got the scoring started 74 seconds in, when he finished off a 2-on-1 break with Philippe Lefebvre for his league-leading eighth goal of the season. Six minutes later, the Voltigeurs added to the lead, as Marc-Antoine Desnoyers cheated in from the point, beating Adrien Lemay with a shot from the slot. The scoring for the visitors wasn't done just yet, as their infamous power play made a mark on the game. Ryan McKiernan's slap shot from the point got tipped by Jonathan Brunelle, before finding the back of the net. The Maineiacs did get one goal back during the opening stanza, as Pierre-Olivier Morin found room underneath the crossbar for his fourth of the year.

Morin's tally gave the Maineiacs something to build on from an otherwise disastrous first period, and that proved to be helpful. Eight minutes into the second period, Lewiston trimmed the deficit to one. Alexis Piette slipped a pass through to Sebastien Trudeau on the right side of the ice. Trudeau was never able to gain control of the puck, but managed to fumble it into the net for goal number two.

Shortly after the goal, the Voltigeurs were given an opportunity to turn the momentum back in their favor, as Etienne Brodeur was whistled for roughing. Adrien Lemay and the Lewiston penalty kill came up with some crucial stops, giving the Maineiacs a chance to build even more confidence. That confidence ultimately paid off with 2:25 remaining in the period, when Brodeur made up for his penalty. The former first-round pick used his speed to his advantage, beating the defense, and sliding a shot through the legs of Antoine Tardif in the Drummondville crease.

Early in the third period, the Maineiacs took the lead for the first time. Once again, speed was the creator of the goal, as Billy Lacasse burst down the left side of the ice with a shot on goal. Tardif made the save, but Piette was there to pounce on the rebound. With the Voltigeurs' goalie scrambling to recover, Piette spotted Lacasse in the right circle, and Lacasse did the rest, beating him high over the glove.

Unfortunately, the lead didn't last long, as Drummondville's power play struck again. Too many men on the ice was the Lewiston penalty that led to this goal. Alex Beaton dove in front of a point attempt by Sean Couturier, but the blocked shot went right back to the Voltigeurs' blueliner. With his second opportunity, Couturier went with a different option, setting up Philippe Lefebvre in the right circle. Lefebvre got a one-timer off, finding the twine over Lemay's left shoulder.

Twenty minutes of scoreless hockey followed, sending the two clubs into a shootout. Lewiston went first, as Sebastien Trudeau faked his way through for a quick 1-0 lead. Marc-Olivier Vachon missed the net for Drummondville, giving Alex Beaton the chance to double his team's lead. He did just that, faking a shot, pulling it back, and going top shelf on Tardif's stick side. The Voltigeurs responded on their second shot, as Alexandre Comtois cut the score in half. Pierre-Olivier Morin was unable to give the Maineiacs the win on his shot, leaving the game in the hands of Adrien Lemay and Jonathan Brunelle. Lemay got the upper hand, making a blocker save to secure the win.

With the win, Lemay improves to 5-2 on the season, making 34 saves on 38 shots for the Maineiacs. Antoine Tardif drops to 5-1, as he allowed four goals on 27 shots for Drummondville. Frederick Piche saw a brief appearance in goal for the Voltigeurs, but was not tested in 1:14 of action.

The Lewiston Maineiacs will look to improve on their 4-0 home record on Sunday afternoon, when they take on the Quebec Remparts at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee. Sunday's contest should be an exciting one, as lots of familiar faces will take the ice on the respective teams. Former Maineiacs Patrick Cusack, Peter Delmas, Danick Paquette, and Dominic Savoie will all be wearing Quebec sweaters, while Samuel Carrier and Sebastien Trudeau made the switch from the Remparts to Lewiston. Other notable names include Quebec head coach Patrick Roy, as well as forward Ryan Bourque, the son of Boston Bruins' great Ray Bourque. The puck drops at 4:00.

NOTES: The win gives Lewiston a 4-0 record on home ice... The loss was Drummondville's first of any kind this season, as they drop to 6-0-0-1... The Maineiacs' lone win against the Voltigeurs last season also came via the shootout... Lewiston has now erased 3-goal deficits twice this season, going 1-1 in those games... Defenseman Eric Gelinas was given a match penalty and a game misconduct for a slash on Ondrej Palat at the 5:57 mark of the first, and will now await a ruling from the league... The Voltigeurs were without defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, who made the Florida Panthers opening night roster.

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