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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Maineiacs take a 2-1 series lead on Moncton

The Lewiston MAINEiacs are now in the lead in their best-of-seven first round playoff series, following Tuesday night's game against the Moncton Wildcats. Alex Zafiris broke a 2-2 tie late in the second period, and Michael Chaput added some insurance in the third, as Lewiston picked up a 4-2 win in front of 3,806 fans at Moncton Coliseum.

The first period of the contest saw more action than some full games do, as two goals, 30 shots, and eight power plays made their way onto the scoresheet. Moncton started the scoring in the first period, as Daniel Pettersson found the twine with a low wrist shot from the right wing wall. The MAINEiacs evened things up later in the period on a 5-on-3, as Sam Carrier rocketed home a one-timer from the left point.

Early in the second period, Lewiston took the lead for the first time in the game. Sam Carrier sent a wrist shot in from the right point that was deflected in the slot by Cameron Critchlow. The play was reviewed for a high stick by Critchlow, but the goal was confirmed, giving the visitors a 2-1 lead.

Later in the period, the Wildcats tied the score, as Daniel Pettersson dashed down the left side, and beat Nicholas Champion with a shorthanded tally. However, the MAINEiacs were quick to respond, retaking the lead 30 seconds later. Cameron Critchlow and Sam Henley crashed the net hard, and Alex Zafiris ultimately whacked the puck in over the line, putting his side back on top.

Lewiston held onto that lead until the final few minutes of regulation, when they added some insurance. With 2:49 remaining, Michael Chaput deked out a defender in the slot, before sniping a wrist shot over Brandon Thibeau's glove, giving the game a 4-2 final score.

Nicholas Champion picked up the win for the MAINEiacs, making 24 saves on 26 shots. Brandon Thibeau took the loss for Moncton, stopping 34 of the 38 shots he faced.

The MAINEiacs and Wildcats will play game four of their best-of-seven series in Moncton on Wednesday night at 6:00. The teams will then return to Lewiston for a 7:30 face-off at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in game five on Friday night.



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