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Friday, April 22, 2011

Game One: Maineiacs fall to Saint John in OT

The Saint John Sea Dogs were down, but not out in game one of the QMJHL Semi-Final series against the Lewiston MAINEiacs. Trailing 4-2 in the third, Saint John came back to tie the score, before Stephen MacAulay scored at the 2:59 mark of overtime, lifting the Sea Dogs to a 5-4 victory in front of 5,762 fans at Harbour Station.

Midway through the first period, the Sea Dogs got out to the lead. Tomas Jurco won a puck battle along the right wing boards, sliding the disk back to Pierre Durepos at the point. Durepos teed up a drive from that spot, rifling a slap shot over Nicholas Champion's right shoulder. A little more than three minutes later, Saint John added to the lead. Kevin Gagne swung the puck behind the goal to Stanislav Galiev, who found Steven Anthony with a quick and crisp pass. Anthony buried his shot into the far side of the net.

Before the first period was able to come to a conclusion, the MAINEiacs got on the board. Stefan Fournier and Matt Bissonnette rushed into the offensive zone on a 2-on-1. Fournier slid a pass across to Bissonnette, who potted his fifth goal of the playoffs.

Lewiston rode the momentum of Bissonnette's tally into the second period, as they quickly evened the score 1:33 in. Pierre-Olivier Morin's initial shot from the left side was stopped by Jacob DeSerres, but the rebound was put home by Jess Tanguy, who scored his second goal in as many games. Less than five minutes later, the MAINEiacs struck again, finding the twine with a power play marker. Michael Chaput centered the puck to Kirill Kabanov, who knocked in a shot, as he crashed the net.

In the third period, the MAINEiacs added to their lead with a shorthanded tally. Lewiston broke 2-on-1 into the offensive zone, and Antoine Houde-Caron kept the puck to himself, scoring high over Jacob DeSerres' glove for a 4-2 lead.

During the media time out, the Sea Dogs made a goaltending change, inserting Mathieu Corbeil-Theriault in place of Jacob DeSerres. The move lit a fire under Saint John, who ultimately tied the score with two goals in a span of 1:14. The first was by Nathan Beaulieu, who finished off a pass from Zack Phillips in the slot. The second was scored by Tomas Jurco, who took Nicholas Champion's clearing attempt, and scored into an empty net, sending the contest into overtime.

In the extra session, Saint John cashed in quickly for the win. Simon Despres dashed down the left side, and sent a pass into the middle for Stephen MacAulay, who netted the winning goal.

Mathieu Corbeil-Theriault picked up the win for the Sea Dogs, stopping all 13 shots he faced in relief of Jacob DeSerres, who allowed four goals on 17 shots. Nicholas Champion suffered the loss for the MAINEiacs, making 26 saves on 31 shots.

The MAINEiacs and Sea Dogs will play game two of their series on Saturday night at 6:00 in Saint John, before heading to Lewiston for games three and four on Tuesday and Wednesday. Both contests at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee will get started at 7:00.


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