LEWISTON – If lucky stars exist, the Lewiston Maineiacs might want to start thanking them.

Pierre-Luc Faubert buried his second goal of the game into an empty net with 1:01 to play, and defenseman Kevin Marshall added another – with the goaltender back in the net – 35 seconds later to secure the Maineiacs’ sloppy 5-2 win over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in front of 2,595 spectators at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Friday night.

“There were a few things off tonight,” said Maineiacs’ forward Stefano Giliati. “Our passing was off, our timing was off, but we worked real hard for the win.”

The Sags (3-7-2-1) hardly played like a bottom-feeding team, and had Lewiston (6-3-0-0) on the ropes for several minutes at different points in the game.

“We played as well as we can expect to play tonight,” said Chicoutimi coach Richard Martel. “The team has played well together.”

Chicoutimi has been bolstered by the return to the lineup of 20-year-old David Desharnais and Carolina prospect Nicolas Blanchard.

“They were our best players on the ice,” said Martel. “They have to be.”

The Maineiacs struggled again with penalties and turnovers, particularly in their own end.

“We had way too many turnovers,” said Guay. “We couldn’t get the puck out of our own end. We had a lot of PKs, but we had four key situations where we had blocked shots, so that helped out a lot.”

Chad Denny, one of the mainstays on the Lewiston blue line, was out with a hip injury, which pressed the rest of the Maineiacs’ veteran defensemen into extra duty.

Lewiston started sluggishly for the third game in a row, and Chicoutimi made the Maineiacs pay. David Desharnais, playing in his fourth game back for the Sags, batted a rebound from the top of the slot past Maineiacs’ goaltender Jonathan Bernier for his second of the season.

“We started off slow,” said Guay. “We wanted to come out of the gate fast, and we did the opposite.”

The Maineiacs snuck one back with 1:56 to play in the opening frame on the recently-beleaguered power play. Twelve seconds after drawing a tripping penalty against Chicoutimi’s Kirill Tulupov, Pierre-Luc Faubert potted his sixth of the season – his first on home ice – to even the score.

Lewiston threatened to pull away in the second against an injured Francois Levesque (Chicoutimi’s starting netminder). Giliati and Jakub Bundil struck for goals 35 seconds apart in the early part of the middle frame to put the Maineiacs ahead 3-1.

“After 15 to 20 seconds of working hard, there’s going to be an opening,” said Giliati. “(Stefan) Chaput found me in the slot. Everyone on the ice saw that the goalie was injured, and we talked about shooting more.”

The Sags replaced Levesque with regular starter Bobby Nadeau after the Maineiacs’ third goal.

A combination of sloppy play from Lewiston and sheer grit from the Sags stalled the Maineiacs’ momentum after those goals, though, and with 56 seconds to play, Chicoutimi rookie Marc-Andre Julien pulled his team to within one with another rebound goal, this time on the power play.

Jonathan Bernier (26 saves) had a solid outing between the pipes for the Maineiacs, and was tested often early in the third period, with his team ahead by just one.

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.