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Monday, April 18, 2011

Lewiston MAINEiacs finish off Montreal for series win

For the second round in a row, the Lewiston MAINEiacs finished off a series on home ice. Leading the best-of-seven series 3-2, the MAINEiacs received a three-point night from Stefan Fournier, heliping lift Lewiston past the Montreal Junior, 6-3. The MAINEiacs won the series 4-2, and will now face the Saint John Sea Dogs in round three.

The MAINEiacs got the scoring started less than three minutes into the first period. Michael Chaput fired a shot wide from the slot, with rebound bouncing out to Jess Tanguy along the left side of the goal line. Tanguy took the quick bounce, and lifted it into the net. The Junior pulled even less than five minutes later, when Louis Leblanc sniped a wrist shot in from the left circle on a pretty move. However, Lewiston had a quick answer, retaking the lead just 25 seconds later. Kirill Kabanov sent the puck toward the net, where it was deflected in by Pierre-Olivier Morin, giving the home team a 2-1 lead after one.

Both teams lit the lamp in the second, starting with Montreal. Nicolas Chouinard took the puck out of the left corner, and slipped a shot in toward goal, looking for a possible deflection. Instead, the puck found daylight, tying the game. Once again, the MAINEiacs responded. Jess Tanguy took a loose puck at his own blueline, rushed down the left side of the ice, and sent a pass into the crease. Stefan Fournier had his stick on the ice, redirecting the puck in for the go-ahead goal.

In the third period, Lewiston added to their lead, capitalizing on a second Junior turnover. Kirill Kabanov picked up the puck in center ice, sending Etienne Brodeur into the offensive zone. Brodeur tapped a pass over to Pierre-Olivier Morin, who faked to his forehand, then slid a backhand shot past a committed Jean-Francois Berube. Later in the stanza, the MAINEiacs netted a power play marker (their 11th of the series), as Stefan Fournier went around Berube, stuffing in a forehand attempt. Nicolas Chouinard pulled Montreal within two goals, but Michael Chaput's empty netter iced the win for the home team.

Nicholas Champion earned the win for the MAINEiacs, stopping 36 of the 39 shots he faced. Jean-Francois Berube took the loss for the Junior, allowing five goals on 37 shots.

The MAINEiacs have now advanced to round three, where they will meet up with the Saint John Sea Dogs. Games one and two will tentatively be in Saint John on Friday and Saturday, before tentatively scheduled games three and four in Lewiston on Tuesday and Wednesday.



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