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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Maineiacs end regular season on winning note: Playoffs start Friday

For the second time in franchise history, the Lewiston MAINEiacs put together a 40-win season. The 40th win came in the regular season finale on Sunday afternoon, as Michael Chaput, Pierre-Olivier Morin, and Etienne Brodeur lit the lamp, while Andrey Makarov made 23 saves. Those efforts gave visiting Lewiston a 3-1 win over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in front of 3,294 fans at Centre Georges Vezina.

The MAINEiacs got the scoring started 8:51 into the opening period. Dillon Fournier set up the play, skating into the zone, before handing the puck to Matt Bissonnette. Bissonnette dropped a pass off to Michael Chaput, who wound up for a big slap shot from the left circle. A Chicoutimi defender blocked the shot with his stick, which slowed up the puck, confusing Christopher Gibson, as the puck trickled into the goal.

In the second period, the Sagueneens tied the score. Guillaume Asselin had his shot blocked in the left circle, but the blocked shot deflected into the right circle. The puck was sitting in good position for Steve Lebel, who pounced on it, firing a shot in past a lunging Andrey Makarov.

Lewiston regained their advantage 40 seconds into the third period. Kirill Kabanov intercepted a clearing attempt, deflecting a pass to Etienne Brodeur. Brodeur spotted Pierre-Olivier Morin cruising toward the net, so he slipped a pass his way, and Morin did the rest, netting his 15th goal of the season. With five minutes remaining, the MAINEiacs added an insurance goal, as Brodeur received an outlet feed from Sam Carrier, dashed down the right side, and ripped a wrist shot over Gibson's right shoulder. Brodeur's first goal of the season started the year for Lewiston, while his 53rd goal of the year was the team's final tally of the campaign, as the MAINEiacs picked up the 3-1 win.

Andrey Makarov earned the victory in goal for Lewiston, making 23 saves on 24 shots. Christopher Gibson took the loss for Chicoutimi, despite stopping 34 of the 37 shots he faced.

The MAINEiacs will begin the playoffs on Friday night at 7:30, when they play host to the Moncton Wildcats at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.



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