Marc-Andre Cliche one-upped himself Tuesday night.

Earmarked as part of the primary defensive line Monday night, the Lewiston Maineiacs’ captain quietly won 14 of 18 faceoffs against the squad of Russian All-Stars, but stayed off the scoresheet while five other players lit the lamp.

Tuesday, it was Cliche’s turn to shine.

“Marc-Andre is from this area,” said Maineiacs and Team QMJHL coach Clem Jodoin. “There were quite a lot of family members here to watch him, and it was great to see him have a great game for them. It’s something he’ll always remember.”

Cliche scored a pair of goals and continued his dominance in the faceoff circle (he won 9 of 13 Tuesday), while Maineiacs’ netminder Jonathan Bernier stopped 13 of 16 shots to lead the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League top prospects to a 4-3 victory over the Russians at Val d’Or’s Air Creebec Centre.

Cliche was also selected the QMJHL’s player of the game.

As an assistant coach for the Canadian National Junior Team, Jodoin used the two-game set against the Russians to help in the selection process for the team that will ultimately represent Canada at the 2007 World Junior Championships. Bernier and Cliche are thought to be potential team members.

“Our goal is to get as many players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League onto the national junior team,” Jodoin said. “The kids, they all played very well tonight.”

Cliche scored the first of his two in the opening period after Russia had taken an early 1-0 lead. Cliche knotted the score at 9:12 with help from Gatineau’s Claude Giroux and Moncton’s Luc Bourdon.

Vadim Shipachev scored to give the visiting Russians a 2-1 lead, but Cliche notched his second at 15:45, this time from Giroux and Val d’Or’s Kristopher Letang.

He even could have had a third goal, a hat trick,” said Jodoin. “We had scoring chances like you wouldn’t believe.”

Francis Pare (Shawinigan) gave the QMJHL its first lead midway through the second, only to have Shipachev slide his second of the game past Bernier at 15:26.

“(Bernier) made a few key saves in the third, when it was 3-3 and then 4-3, that to me is more important than how many he had overall,” said Jodoin.”

Maineiacs’ defenseman Chad Denny assisted on the game-winning goal at 8:12 of the third period, a Maxime Lacroix (Quebec) power play.

Lewiston defenseman Kevin Marshall saw his only action of the week Tuesday night, and finished the game with no points, a plus/minus ratio of zero and one good hit.

The Maineiacs will next skate on home ice Friday night against the hard-charging Acadie-Bathurst Titan at 7 p.m. All four players who participated in the All-Star festivities this week are expected to be back in the lineup.


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