LEWISTON – Kevin Desfosses made his coach proud Tuesday, which is tough considering Desfosses is a goaltender on a team coached by one of the great goalies of all time, Patrick Roy.

Desfosses, though, left nothing to be desired, stopping 37 of 40 Lewiston Maineiacs shots, including several early in the game that would have allowed Lewiston to pull away.

“He was outstanding,” said Roy.

The rest of the team, though, might want to dodge eye contact with their head coach for a while.

Mathieu Aubin scored twice and Jonathan Paiement had two assists as the Maineiacs bottled up Quebec’s vaunted offense in a 3-1 Lewiston win over the Remparts in front of 2,301 at the Colisee.

“(The players) are going to savor it for a little while,” said Maineiacs assistant coach Ed Harding. “They worked hard, they followed the game plan almost to a T’, so we’re very happy about that.”

“They were ready for us and played a good game,” said Roy.

Paiement, in addition to assisting on the Maineiacs’ first two goals, was under the Remparts’ skin all game, and the rest of the defense took the cue from the 20-year-old blueliner, stifling an offense that had scored 174 goals through 37 games, an average of 4.7 per game.

“We didn’t play our A’ game,” said Roy. “We didn’t skate like we normally do. We had two days off and (Monday) a very light practice. Their guys looked a lot more sharp than ours did.”

Quebec was without three of its better offensive players, including 16-year-old sensation Angelo Esposito, but Harding was quick to point out that his team, too, was without a bevy of key skaters.

“I said before,” said Harding. “They can have all of their guys, just give me all of my guys and I’ll still play them.”

Despite a scoreless first period, patrons at the Colisee saw plenty of action, mostly around Defosses’ net. After killing off two consecutive penalties, the Lewiston power play unit got two chances of its own. The swing in momentum was obvious, but Desfosses held tough, stopping both Chris Tutalo and Marc-Andre Cliche on point-blank chances to preserve the deadlock.

“It was similar to the Rouyn-Noranda game,” said Harding. “We didn’t start out well, the first seven minutes or so we were getting out-battled. We got a couple of power plays, though, and we settled in a got the first goal and that made a big difference.”

Anyone late to their seats following the first intermission may have missed the Maineiacs’ most exciting 26 seconds of the game. With the teams at four players a side to start the period, Quebec wing Jordan Lavallee went off the ice for hooking. The 4-on-3 that ensued turned into a 5-on-3 as Chad Denny emerged from the box at the end of a penalty and at 1:44, Mathieu Aubin popped in his 25th goal of the season to put the home team ahead 1-0.

“We know that we need to score the first goal against Quebec,” said Aubin. “We scored on the power play. It was a good power play for us. The puck was moving well and I just got a rebound. It was kind of a garbage goal, but they all count.”

Twenty-six seconds later, now on a 5-on-4, Paiement collected his second assist in as many shifts when he fed the puck down low to Marc-Andre Cliche. Cliche danced across the goal line from the right side, made Desfosses move to his right and lifted a backhander over the rookie netminder’s glove.

“That was huge for us,” said Aubin. “It was a huge boost of confidence for us and we built on that.”

Mathieu invigorated the crowd at the 13:13 mark when he fought Quebec defenseman and Massachusetts native Joey Ryan. Ryan also had several friends and family members in the stands.

Quebec yanked Desfosses on a 4-on-4 with just under five minutes to play in the game and drew to within one at 2-1 on a Kenzie Sheppard goal, but Aubin added another tally 47 seconds later.

Jonathan Bernier was also solid down the stretch for Lewiston, stopping five or six late shots with Desfosses again on the bench.

“The guys did a good job to keep the puck out on the boards most of the time,” said Bernier. “I don’t really have anything else to say, just that I made the saves I had to make and the defense did the rest for me.”

Michal Sersen was awarded a penalty shot with 1:04 remaining in regulation, but his shot, which was headed wide anyway, grazed Bernier’s pad and settled harmlessly in the corner.


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