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Friday, November 26, 2010

Sam Carrier nets shootout winner in MAINEiacs 3 - 2 Win

 If fans didn't get their fill from Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday, the Lewiston MAINEiacs and Moncton Wildcats certainly served up a wholesome dessert. Lewiston and Moncton battled to a 2-2 tie through regulation and overtime, before Sam Carrier broke the deadlock in the fifth round of the shootout, as the MAINEiacs won their seventh straight home game, as well as their 12th win in their last 13 games overall. The victory came in front of a season-high crowd of 2,811 fans at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

Lewiston opened the scoring at the 3:31 mark of the first period. Michael Chaput picked up the puck on the right side of the offensive zone, cut to the middle, and beat Shane Owen with a wrist shot on the glove side. Chaput's eighth goal of the season came on the power play, with Matt Bissonnette and Sam Carrier drawing the assists.

In the latter stages of the period, the MAINEiacs ran into trouble, as the home team took three penalties in 1:04, including a major penalty for elbowing to Olivier Dame-Malka. The Wildcats did get the equalizer with four seconds left, as Alex Saulnier found his brother Allain, who scored from the left side of the crease. After that, Lewiston dodged the remainder of the bullet, and ended up 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.

The score remained tied until the 3:39 mark of the third, when Lewiston took the lead once again. Jess Tanguy laid a hit on a Moncton player, freeing the puck for Kirill Kabanov, who spotted Francis Beauvillier on the left side. Beauvillier had little trouble depositing his fourth marker of the season.

Less than two minutes later, Moncton had an answer, as the Saulnier brothers connected for the second time. Alex found Allain once again, with Allain scoring on a high shot from the right circle. Scott Trask also had an assist, as the two brothers upped their season point totals to 37.

Both teams continued to battle through regulation and overtime, but neither could dent the twine, as the two netminders were fantastic. The MAINEiacs' Nicholas Champion made 34 saves on 36 shots, while the Wildcats' Shane Owen turned aside 40 of the 42 shots he faced.

In the shootout, the two sides exchanged goals in the opening round, as Kirill Kabanov and Daniel Pettersson both lit the lamp. After three straight misses for each team, Sam Carrier found space between Owen's legs in round five for a 2-1 Lewiston advantage. Thomas Flynn came up empty in Moncton's half of the round, as the MAINEiacs picked up the win.

With the win, Nicholas Champion tied Jonathan Bernier's franchise record, winning his 11th consecutive game. The victory was also Champion's 16th in his last 17 starts.


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