Loss to Halifax proves costly

0

The Lewiston Maineiacs lost in a shootout – again – Thursday night, dropping a 5-4 decision to the Halifax Mooseheads in the first game of a three-game-in-three-nights swing through Nova Scotia.

More important, though, is the potential loss of both goaltenders, Jonathan Bernier and Peter Delmas, and Marc-Andre Cliche, who were all hurt in the loss.

Following the game, head coach and general manager Clem Jodoin spent more than an hour on the phone, frantically trying to bring a goaltender into the fold for the team’s remaining games this weekend.

“This is going to make for some big, big, big adversity for this club,” Maineiacs’ assistant coach Jeff Guay said. “We also have some big winter storms moving in up here, and it’s going to be tough to bring anyone in.”

After he allowed four goals on 10 shots, the Maineiacs yanked Delmas in the second period, trailing 4-2.

Goals from Marc-Andre Daneau and Danick Hudon-Paquette within the next minute of play tied the score at four, where it remained through the rest of the period and late into the third.

With Halifax pressing late, James Pouliot advanced in on Bernier, who was a perfect 24-for-24 in the save department. Pouliot tried to slide the puck between Bernier’s legs, and as the Maineiacs’ No. 1 goalie tried to slide with him, his ankle rolled.

“The thing that’s sad about it is that the whole play was off-sides from the beginning,” Guay said. “It was a lob into the zone and Coach (Ed) Harding was standing at the blue line, and the play was well offsides, by about 10 feet.”

At first, the injury looked like it was to Bernier’s groin or knee.

“It turned out to be his ankle,” Guay said, though he couldn’t elaborate any more.

“He got onto the bus by himself, so he could put a little weight on it,” Guay said, “but he still had a limp, of course. We have a 2-hour ride to Antigonish tonight and (trainer) Tom Bourdon will work on it the whole way there and give him treatment when we get there.”

Meanwhile, Delmas came back into the game with 30 seconds left in the third, stopped two more shots, and forced the game into overtime.

There, he stopped two more shots, but it was a shot that he technically did not save that ultimately did him in. On a shot that crept past him, Delmas extended his left leg as the puck bounced off the right post. Delmas rolled over onto the puck and froze it, but he, too stayed down for a long time.

“That might be a groin of a hip, but again, we’re not really sure,” Guay said. “Peter had a rough start but he battled back well.”

Eventually, Delmas got up and finished the game, but allowed three of four Halifax shooters to score in the shootout, leading to a 3-2 Halifax advantage in the shootout.

Guay said he did not know who would start tonight’s game against Cape Breton, adding only that goalie Marc-Andre Sauve, an 18-year-old goaltender drafted in 2005 by the Maineiacs in the eighth round (135th overall), was being flown in.

“That will be a game-time decision,” Guay said, and added also that Bernier is unlikely to see the ice for the rest of the weekend.

Cliche, meanwhile, was the victim of a solid hit in the neutral zone by Jiri Suchy. He left the game groggy, and did not return. Guay said the problem may be with his jaw, and that Cliche was also likely out for the remainder of the weekend.

Peter-James Corsi and Andrew White scored in the first period to put Halifax ahead 2-0.

Pierre-Luc Faubert and David Perron scored early in the second to knot the score, only to watch White and Garrett Peters regain the Mooseheads’ two-goal edge.

Daneau and Hudon-Paquette scored goals 17 seconds apart to again draw the Maineiacs even.

Advertisement
SHARE