After taking a significant step forward Sunday, the Lewiston Maineiacs took a step back Tuesday night. And, Lewiston doesn’t have much room to backtrack.

Lewiston gave up a late goal, just moments after killing off a penalty, to fall to the Prince Edward Island Rocket, 3-2 at the Charlottetown Civic Center.

“It’s a big loss for us, especially the way it happened,” said Lewiston coach Clem Jodoin. “When you’re fighting for a fourth place, losing a game like this, it hurts a lot.”

Lewiston, which had beaten Acadie-Bathurst 5-2 Sunday, remains in fourth place, one point ahead of Halifax in the Eastern Division standings.

The Maineiacs play at fifth-place Halifax this evening.

The Maineiacs also lost two more players to injury. Marc Andre Cliche is out with an illness, while Maxime Mathieu suffered a concussion. Jodoin says his roster is now down to 18 players, with two more games on the current three-game trip.

“It’s going to be a little bit hard, but we’ve got to keep the ship afloat,” said Jodoin. “We’ll take more adversity the rest of the season, but we have to refocus. We’ve got to turn the page and focus on tomorrow.”

Lewiston had the chance to complete a regular season sweep of an opponent for the first time in its history and rallied twice to even the score.

After a David Laliberte power play goal early in the second, Lewiston’s Brandon Roach netted his 17th with a power-play tally at 8:54.

In the third, Viatcheslav Trukhno scored his 27th of the year at 4:05, but Mathieu Aubin was hauled down on a breakaway at 10:30 by Rocket Travis Mealy. Aubin scored on the penalty shot for his 44th of the year.

“We had the feeling that we could turn the corner, but at the end of the period, we had the penalty,” said Jodoin.

A Marc Andre-Crete minor with 5:58 put Lewiston on the penalty kill.

The Maineiacs killed the penalty, but PEI netted the game-winner 19 seconds later. Tyler Hawes scored his 16th of the year with an assist from Trukhno, who finished with a goal and two assists.

“We were on the PK’,” said Jodoin. “We had a chance to get the puck out of our end. You have to give them credit. We didn’t clear the puck.”


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