Daneau’s three goals do trick for Maineiacs

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LEWISTON — From grinder to grinder/goal-scorer, Marc-Andre Daneau’s evolution came to completion Friday night.

The crowd of 3,308 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee saw the Lewiston Maineiacs’ forward score a hat trick while leading the Maineiacs to a 6-2 win over the Rimouski Oceanic.

“We owed them one,” Daneau said, alluding to a 5-2 loss to the Oceanic last month. “We showed up tonight and played them well. We worked hard.”

Last season, Daneau scored just six goals in 69 games. He had just one in his rookie season the year before.

This year, Daneau has scored 17 times in 41 games on a line with Stefano Giliati and Stefan Chaput.

“I put that line together last year at Christmas, and sat back and watched,” Maineiacs assistant coach Ed Harding said. “Every team needs a line that is a good, solid checking line. They’ve been over a year now, and I like it because there’s a little bit of everything on that line. Now, Daneau has added another element because he can score. It may be the most dangerous line in the league because of everything that they do.”

“I work a lot on my shot,” Daneau said. “I got the opportunities tonight, which is why I scored.”

Giliati also notched his 15th. Jakub Bundil (fourth) and Pierre-Luc Faubert (22nd) also scored in the rout.

“The beginning of the game, that was it,” Rimouski coach Doris Labonte said. “They came out a lot faster and harder than we did. We have three 16-year-olds, and almost all 17s and 18s after that, and they were a bit shocked to come in here with the fans like this and play for the first time.”

The Oceanic, who have just eight wins in 41 games, never had a chance.

Lewiston dominated early, outshot Rimouski 16-5 in the opening frame and, more importantly, took a 3-0 lead into the locker room after 20 minutes.

“We came out strong, kept the game simple and attacked their defense, which is their weak spot,” Giliati said.

Faubert scored at 4:07 of the first, and Daneau followed with goals at 4:22 and 6:45.

Chad Denny assisted on all three first-period goals.

In the second, after the Oceanic scored just 17 seconds into the period, Lewiston killed off more than eight minutes in penalties. In all, the Maineiacs held Rimouski to 0-for-11 with an extra skater.

“We took a few too many penalties,” Giliati said, “but our penalty-killing has been great.”

Giliati scored a short-handed goal — his fifth on the season, which tied him for the league lead — at 4:48 to put Lewiston back ahead by three.

In the third, Lewiston extended the lead on Bundil’s goal, and a wide-eyed Daneau finished off his hat trick at 8:19 into a wide-open net.

“I saw the open net. I was just happy the rebound came to me off the back boards,” Daneau said. “It’s a good feeling.”

Lewiston has now won four in a row.

Notes: Lewiston defenseman Kevin Marshall was named this week to participate in the CHL Top Prospects game on Jan. 17. The game in Quebec City features the CHL’s top NHL-draft eligible players.

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