HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – The comeback kids did it again.

Stefan Chaput scored his third and fourth goals of the playoffs in the third period Tuesday to lift the Lewiston Maineiacs to a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over the Halifax Mooseheads at the Halifax Metro Centre, giving the Maineiacs a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven quarterfinal matchup.

“I really don’t know what it is,” Maineiacs’ coach Clem Jodoin said as he shrugged and smiled. “We found a way in the third period. We didn’t play well in the first two periods, but we kept it there, we kept it close.”

Finding a way in the final period has become commonplace for Lewiston in the playoffs. In seven games, the Maineiacs have trailed in the third period three times and have been tied in another.

But Lewiston is still unblemished in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s second season, riding a 17-game winning streak.

“We always find a way in the third,” Maineiacs’ defenseman Chad Denny said. “We came out hard and battled in the third.”

Chaput has been a big piece of Lewiston’s third period success over the past two games.

His first goal, at 9:05 of the third, followed a bruising hit by a pair of Halifax defenseman on Marc-Andre Daneau. While those two players mopped up with Daneau, Chaput gathered the loose puck with his hand, dropped it to his stick side and fired a wrist shot past goalie Roger Kennedy.

“I think that one was a little bit lucky,” admitted Chaput.

The game-winner was a well-placed wrist shot on a 1-on-0 against Kennedy after a beautiful feed from a falling Daneau.

“I toe-dragged it and Kennedy slid over,” Chaput said. “I just shot it blocker side.”

Halifax, meanwhile, played its best game of the series, and led 3-2 after two strong periods.

“We made some bad turnovers and some bad mistakes, and some unlucky bounces resulted in goals for Lewiston,” Halifax coach Cam Russell said.

Jakub Voracek, held to just two points in two games in Lewiston after averaging nearly three per game in Round 1, started playing like his old self again, dishing out two assists and adding another goal. Linemate Logan MacMillan had the other two goals for the Mooseheads.

“It’s always good to try and spread out the scoring,” MacMillan said, “but (Lewiston) is a good defensive team, they have a good goaltender and some good defensemen back there, and it doesn’t matter who it comes from, I guess, just that we get them.”

MacMillan put the Mooseheads in front 1-0 on a power-play goal at 13:19 of the first, but the Maineiacs struck back at 17:39 as Simon Courcelles scored his second of the postseason to knot the score at one, quieting the raucous crowd.

In the second, MacMillan notched his second of the game 28 seconds into the period on a feed from top rookie Jakub Voracek with the teams skating 4-on-4.

Again, though, Lewiston drew even, this time on a freak play by Kennedy. The Maineiacs dumped the puck in with five seconds remaining on a penalty kill, and three Lewiston skaters went to the bench for a change. Pierre-Luc Faubert went after the puck and pressured Kennedy, who was out at the left boards playing the puck. Faubert stole the puck, kicked it to himself and scored his third of the playoffs into an empty net.

“I almost missed it,” Faubert said. “I was scared for a minute.”

Voracek scored at 15:56 of the middle frame to again put the Mooseheads on top at 3-2.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.