LEWISTON – Frustration.

The Moncton Wildcats have a knack for causing the Lewiston Maineiacs to feel that gut-wrenching emotion.

Despite outplaying the Wildcats for the better part of Wednesday’s game – the Maineiacs outshot Moncton 30-7 in the final 40 minutes – Lewiston still came up short against its nemesis.

Matt Eagles scored back-to-back goals late in the first period to stake visiting Moncton to a 4-0 lead, and Jhase Sniderman held down the fort the rest of the way for the Wildcats as they defeated the Maineiacs 4-2 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in front of a near-sellout crowd of 3,517.

“Simon Courcelles said it when he came into the locker room after the game,” Maineiacs’ assistant coach Ed Harding said. “He told the boys that there were some games this year that we shouldn’t have won that we did win. This was a game that we probably should have won, and we came up short. It happens in this game, and I think we use this and go forward.”

Moncton and Lewiston have played six times this season, and the Wildcats have handed the Maineiacs five of their 11 total losses.

“Moncton is a hard-working machine, and we just have to continue to work as hard as them, and eventually, I guess, we’re going to win a few games against them,” Courcelles said.

Lewiston goalie Jonathan Bernier seemed to lose his edge early Wednesday after allowing an odd deflection that put Moncton ahead 1-0. Bernier has never performed well against Moncton, having allowed 22 goals on 141 shots this season alone.

Jhase Sniderman, meanwhile, largely untested in the opening frame, saw 14 in the middle frame and another 16 in the third and turned aside 38 of them in the win. Twice in the second, Lewiston had the puck in the low slot with sure scoring chances, only to watch Sniderman stuff them, once with his catching glove and another with his right pad.

“I’d like to have that one back for sure,” said Courcelles, whose shot Sniderman snared. “Sniderman was hot tonight. He made some incredible stops. I don’t know how he did it. Everything hit him.”

Whatever ailed the Maineiacs in the first period disappeared in the second, but apart from Sniderman’s solid play, the Moncton defense took more than a few for the team, blocking nearly as many Maineiacs’ opportunities as those that got through.

“They block a lot of shots,” Courcelles said. “They deflected a lot in the corners, and we just couldn’t bury a goal.”

Murdock MacLellan potted the Wildcats’ first of the game at 2:58 of the first on a weird tip through traffic on a Patrick Campbell shot from the point.

Phil Mangan followed at 9:25 with his 12th of the season to make it 2-0, and then Matt Eagles struck for his two – one at 11:37 at even strength and another at 15:50 short-handed – to push Moncton out to its 4-0 first-period lead.

But the Wildcats started to sit back on their lead, and Lewiston took advantage.

“We started to sit back, and we tried to get fancy plays, and they worked hard after that,” Moncton coach John Torchetti said. “You can’t do that against this team.”

David Perron notched his 21st goal of the season at 3:29 of the third to give the gather fans hope. At 15:59, Pierre-Luc Faubert batted home a third rebound in front of Sniderman to draw Lewiston within two at 4-2.

But a late flurry and a pair of late power plays went for naught.

NOTES: Michal Korenko scored his first career International goal Wednesday, but Team Germany, led by Val d’Or’s Felix Schutz, upended Slovakia 4-2 at the World Junior Championships in Sweden. Korenko, a 19-year-old defenseman, and David Skokan, who plays for Chicoutimi, each had a point.


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