LEWISTON – Eric Castonguay made ignoring his coach seem like a very smart move Saturday night, and with the flick of his wrists lifted the Lewiston Maineiacs to their 26th win of the season.

After seeing the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies peel off for a line change, he aborted one of his own despite having been on the ice for two minutes. Lewiston defenseman Kevin Marshall, also on his way to the bench, sent Castonguay into the Huskies’ zone with a tape-to-tape pass.

“Instead of doing icing, he gave the puck to me,” said Castonguay, who deked Rouyn-Noranda goalie Jean-Philippe Levasseur to the ice and roofed the puck to lift Lewiston to a thrilling 3-2 win over the Huskies at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

“I went to change, but I saw the defensmeen change, so I went,” he said. “If I didn’t score there, (Maineiacs’ assistant coach) Ed (Harding) would probably have been mad at me.”

Castonguay’s goal capped a controversial two-goal third period for the Maineiacs (26-7-0-3), who got their other goal of the frame just 1:07 in after Marshall ran into Levasseur, leaving a wide-open net for Stefano Giliati.

“We had two clowns on the ice tonight,” said Rouyn-Noranda coach Andre Tourigny after officials called no penalty on Marshall on the play. “There were things that went against us that we couldn’t control. We played well enough not to lose the game.”

On the other end, 16-year-old rookie Peter Delmas goaled his second game in as many nights, and picked up a second consecutive victory with 29 saves on 31 shots, many of which came in the third period with the scored tied.

“A lot of backups in my position never really get to play back-to-back,” said Delmas. “I’m fortunate for that. I took advantage of it, went with it and tried to play my best.”

A makeshift power play unit scored the game’s first goal at 11:18 of the first period. Castonguay gathered a deflected David Perron shot and buried into an open net with 20-year-old Triston Manson using his 6-foot, 3-inch frame to screen Levasseur, who signed a contract with the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.

Giliati had two great scoring chances of his own in the first period. His first hit the post, and his second came on a penalty shot after the speedy Lewiston forward was hauled down by Rouyn-Noranda defenseman Guillaume Tougas. Giliati’s deke to his forehand slid wide of the net, though.

The Maineiacs could have used those missed opportunities in a sloppy second period.

“In four years, every time Rouyn-Noranda comes in here, they battle, they compete, they come to play,” said Maineiacs’ assistant coach Jeff Guay. “We got the two points. Did we deserve the two points? I’m not sure, but we battled harder in the third and that made the difference.”

Michael Dubuc converted a Lewiston defensive turnover into a goal at 1:21 of the middle frame to tie the game up, and at 8:53, Yannick Riendeau took a home run pass from Guillaume Lepine as he left the penalty box and drove in alone on Delmas. He deked the rookie netminder to the ice and slid the puck into the net on the left side to put the Huskies ahead 2-1.

“He’s one of the best players in the league on the breakaway,” said Tourigny, “and showed on that shot why.”

The Maineiacs are now off for their annual holiday break. They resume play Wednesday, Dec. 27 against the Moncton Wildcats at the Colisee.

Meanwhile, the league-wide trading period opens Monday, and Lewiston will likely make a few minor moves early but then wait and watch the rest of the league.


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