LEWISTON – For all the Lewiston Maineiacs have accomplished this season, their fans – and likely the whole organization – celebrated the team’s win a bit more Wednesday night.

The Maineiacs, 1-5 against Moncton entering Wednesday’s contest, scored three goals in the opening period and cruised to a convincing 6-0 win over the Wildcats in front of 2,515 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

The win gives the Maineiacs 96 points, six more than rival Cape Breton in the race for first place overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with five games to play.

“We had one game less played than Cape Breton,” Cliche said. “Those were a big two points for us. It gives us a cushion.”

Peter Delmas, who owned the only Lewiston win over Moncton this season, made 21 saves in the shutout win. Chad Denny and David Perron had a goal and three assists each, Marc-Andre Cliche scored a pair of goals and added two assists, and Pierre-Luc Faubert had one goal and two helpers to pace the offense.

“Since we shuffled the lines, it’s like a new team,” Maineiacs’ coach Clem Jodoin said. “It’s a new energy, a new team, new chemistry. It’s been a very good move.”

Moncton has been the Maineiacs’ nemesis all season. In the teams’ six meetings, Moncton won three times in a shootout and twice in regulation, mainly by outworking Lewiston.

“They outworked us tonight,” Moncton coach John Torchetti said. “(The Maineiacs) worked for everything they got. Tonight was one of our games where we did not outwork an opponent.”

Perron roofed the puck short-side on starting goalie Jhase Sniderman from the left goal line to start the scoring at 3:57 of the first.

Denny potted his 14th of the season at 6:54 on a slap shot that slowed down as it neared the Moncton keeper, and Faubert tallied his 31st of the year at the 18-minute mark on a Denny rebound in front to put Lewiston ahead 3-0 in the opening frame.

The Maineiacs outshot the Wildcats 17-7 in the first, and chased nemesis Jhase Sniderman after just 20 minutes of work after scoring three goals on those 17 shots.

“That’s a very un-Sniderman-like game,” Torchetti said. “I didn’t want him to get six or seven and lose his confidence because he’s been struggling a little bit.”

Nicola Riopel relieved Sniderman in the Moncton net in the second, and he temporarily stopped the bleeding.

But at 12:32, Cliche scored his 22nd of the season to add another to the scoreboard for the Maineiacs, putting the home team ahead 4-0.

“Protecting a lead, this is what we have to learn going to the playoffs,” Jodoin said. “We need to be consistent from the beginning to the end.”

In the third, Simon Courcelles continued his hot play with his 19th of the season on a perfect feed from Chris Tutalo. Courcelles tipped Tutalo’s pass through Riopel’s legs after he slipped behind the Moncton defense.

“With playoffs coming, and with us trying to make a run to finish in first, maybe I find the extra little thing that gets me going,” Courcelles said.

Lewiston continues its final homestand of the season Friday against the St. John’s Fog Devils at 7 p.m.


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