LEWISTON – Irony is all about timing.

Less than a year after the Lewiston Maineiacs killed the Moncton Wildcats’ 14-game winning streak with a shootout win at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee, the Wildcats returned the favor on Wednesday night.

Rookie Marc-Andre Labelle scored on Moncton’s fifth shootout attempt with a low wrister to Maineiacs’ netminder Jonathan Bernier’s stick side and Jhase Sniderman stopped all five of Lewiston’s attempts as the Wildcats snapped Lewiston’s 13-game winning streak with a 3-2 shootout win in front of 2,137.

“I knew he was going to shoot, because I had done two poke checks before,” said Bernier, “but I thought he was going to the glove side. I was surprised when he went low like that.”

The loss is the Maineiacs’ first on home ice since Oct. 19, when Moncton upended Lewiston in another shootout. Four of the Maineiacs’ eight losses on the season — three in shootouts — have come against Moncton.

“Some teams just don’t match up well,” said Moncton coach John Torchetti. “There are teams we don’t match up well against, no matter how much we try, and then there are teams we have success with. It’s just one of those things. Lewiston is a solid team, the best in the league right now.”

Sniderman was a big reason why Moncton pulled out the victory Wednesday. He stopped five attempts in the shootout, including a diving paddle stop on Stefano Giliati, and another in overtime on a Giliati blast labled for the top right corner of the net.

“I knew that that side was all he had left. So I reached over and hoped he shot low,” said Sniderman, who went on to admit that revenge was on the mind of many of the team’s remaining veterans.

“The guys from last year knew that they ended our streak, so we wanted to beat them at their rink this time and get some payback, I guess.”

Labelle, meanwhile, a 17-year-old rookie, seemed surprised to take the shot for his team.

“That’s a big goal for him,” said Torchetti. “I don’t think he expected to be the (fifth) shooter.”

Pierre-Luc Faubert also had a move that seemed to fool Sniderman in the third round of the shootout, but he fell backwards as he nearly came to a stop with a wide-open net in front of him. The puck slowed to a halt in the crease.

“I tried something new because we hadn’t scored on him,” said Faubert. “It was working well in practice. The goalie poke-checked and I wasn’t expecting that, so I pulled it back and tried to push it in. I almost had it, but I dropped the puck.”

The Maineiacs are still atop the Eastern Division with 49 points, six up on second-place Moncton (43 points).

In regulation, the Wildcats apparently found a remedy to combat Lewiston’s speed, the only team to have such success against the Maineiacs this season.

“They are a good team,” said Maineiacs’ coach Clem Jodoin. “It’s that simple.”

Sniderman made his best save of the game, and it kept the Wildcats from falling behind by two, when Marc-Andre Daneau fired a shot from the low slot to an apparent open net. Sniderman slid from his left to the center of the slot and swallowed up the puck.

Less than 30 seconds later, and with less than 30 seconds to play in the opening frame, Chris Morehouse flipped the momentum when he converted a feed in front from Christian Gaudet, knotting the game at one.

Maineiac-killer Matt Marquardt’s goal at 9:05 of the second period gave the Wildcats a 2-1 lead.

At 7:38 of the third, the Maineiacs tied the game on a Simon Courcelles tip of a Kevin Marshall shot.

Lewiston travels to Rimouski on Friday and to Bathurst on Sunday before returning home for three games before the extended holiday break.


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