LEWISTON – It was a feeling that Jonathan Bernier and his teammates had not felt in quite a while.

After winning 13 straight games, the Lewiston Maineiacs were reminded Wednesday what defeat felt like.

“It’s not very fun losing,” said the Maineiacs goaltender. “Personally, I hate that. We just have to bounce back the next game and start another streak.”

Bernier stopped four stops in the shootout against Moncton. As sharp as he played, Moncton’s Jhase Sniderman was even better. The netminder stopped 36 shots and blanked Lewiston on five straight tries in the shootout to to give the Wildcats their fourth win over the Maineiacs in five tries this season. Three of those wins have come by shootout.

“They’re a good hockey team,” said Bernier. “They played hard. It’s not that we played bad. We competed, and we had our chances.

“It’s always easier when we take the lead. He played well, and we didn’t play well enough to win this hockey game.”

As it turned out, it was the easiest of attempts that produced the game-winner in the shootout. The Wildcats tried to deke Bernier, tried a backhander and popped a shot over the net. Then the fifth shooter, Marc-Andre Labelle, simply skated in and fired a quick wrister that beat Bernier.

“He just made a good shot,” said Bernier. “I think the shootout is the hardest thing to stop. The other goalie made some good stops.”

Moncton now has 19 goals in four games against Bernier this year.

“They have a good forecheck and they put a lot of pressure on our team down low,” said Bernier. “They have some good “D” and they can carry the puck and make some good passes.”

Though the Wildcats kept their overtime streak going with a 6-0-1 mark while ending Lewiston’s hope for a 14th straight win.

“We didn’t really think about it,” said Bernier. “We just came out game after game and tried to play hard every game. They played well and we played well, but somebody has to win.”

It was a hard-fought but disappointing end to the longest stretch of wins in Maineiacs’ history. Now Lewiston tries to see if it can carry momentum from that success through the rest of the season.

“It built up our confidence – between all of the guys here,” said Bernier of the winning streak. “We just try to play hard. We don’t think about the streak.”


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