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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Maineiacs advance, dispatch Moncton

The Lewiston MAINEiacs put forth one of their better efforts of the playoffs on Friday night, finishing off their best-of-seven series against the Moncton Wildcats. After playing to a 1-1 tie in the first, the MAINEiacs lit the lamp twice in the second and three times in the third, exploding for a 6-1 victory. Lewiston won the series four games to one, earning their first playoff series win since 2007. The win was achieved in front of 1,828 fans.

Lewiston scored first in the opening period. Christophe Lalonde sent a shot on goal from the right side that was stopped by Brandon Thibeau. The rebound went to Alex Zafiris, who potted his second tally of the series. The MAINEiacs controlled most of the first period, but with 57 seconds to go, the Wildcats got on the board, as Devon MacAusland deposited a drop pass from Marek Hrivik for the equalizer.

In the second period, the MAINEiacs took the lead with the man advantage. Michael Chaput rang a shot in off of the post from the left circle for his third goal of the series, before Kirill Kabanov extended the lead with a wrist shot from the slot. Lewiston finished the series 5-for-22 on the power play, while also going 25-for-28 on the penalty kill.

Lewiston continued to have success in the third period, finding the twine three more times. Matt Bissonnette extended the lead to three, capitalizing on a turnover in the slot. Stefan Fournier netted the fifth goal for the MAINEiacs, finishing off a 2-on-1 rush with Ian Saab. Finally, the icing on the win was provided by Bryce Milson, who redirected Olivier Dame-Malka's point shot into the back of the cage, giving the contest a 6-1 final score.

Nicholas Champion earned the win, making 30 saves on 31 shots. The Lewiston backstop went 4-1 in the series, stopping 132 of the 142 shots he faced. Brandon Thibeau suffered the loss for Moncton, allowing six goals on 31 shots.

The MAINEiacs will now face the Montreal Junior in the second round of the playoffs, starting on Friday night at Verdun Auditorium. Lewiston's first home game of the series will take place on Tuesday night (April 12th) at 7:00.



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