LEWISTON – Lewiston Maineiacs’ rookie David Perron swung from the top of the left faceoff circle toward the middle of the ice. He appeared to be the only one moving, and found himself alone in front of Rouyn-Noranda goalie Jean-Philippe Levasseur.

Perron rarely misses from three feet, and though he almost did, he tucked the puck under Levasseur’s left armpit and watched it trickle across the line to put the Maineiacs ahead by one Friday late in the second period.

“Coach Harding always tells us to be ready to jump on faceoffs,” Perron said. “That’s what I did there.”

Perron’s goal gave the Maineiacs all the jump they needed. His three points again led the way as Lewiston downed Rouyn-Noranda 4-1 in Game 1 of their best-of-seven semifinal playoff series in front of 3,567 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

“We won the first game, that’s the key,” Maineiacs’ coach Clem Jodoin said. “We worked hard to win the game, and now we have to work hard again (today).”

Perron and Pierre-Luc Faubert each had a goal and two assists and Simon Courcelles and Chad Denny also found the net to lead the Lewiston offense. Jonathan Bernier made 16 saves to earn the win.

“They played without mistakes,” Rouyn-Noranda coach Andre Tourigny said. “I don’t know how many mistakes, but there weren’t many. They gave us nothing free. We had to work for all the scoring chances we had.”

Perron played an aggressive game Friday, dishing out hits where he could, and taking more than his share deep in the corners when he tried to cycle the puck down low.

But he also stayed on the ice too much, Jodoin said.

“He was doing well on (playing physical),” Jodoin said, “but his shifts were too long. I’m sorry, but they were. Offensively, I give him credit. He played well, but he stayed on the ice for too long.”

Jodoin used all four lines again Friday, something he has done with consistency throughout the playoffs. By the end of the third period, Lewiston clearly had more gas left in the tank, too.

“They have a lot of speed, too,” Tourigny said. “They had a lot of rest and a lot of energy, too. We need to find a way to win without energy because we could see our players were tired.”

One player who did show up – in spades – was Levasseur. The Huskies’ goalie stopped 22 of 26 shots, but many of those were quality chances in front and in traffic.

“He played a good game,” Jodoin said.

“He did what he needed to do to help us win the game,” Tourigny said.

Lewiston opened the scoring at 15:31 of the first when Faubert pounded home a nifty behind-the-back feed from Marc-Andre Cliche as he pinched in from the top of the slot to Levasseur’s left.

Tyler Hawes scored the equalizer at 17:10 after a bad defensive breakdown left him alone to Bernier’s left.

The teams skated even through much of the second period, until Perron’s goal caught the Rouyn-Noranda defense flat-footed.

“We practice that during all of our practices all year, and that was a perfect example of doing it the right way,” Cliche said.

Simon Courcelles added an insurance tally at 10:09 of the third period, the only power-play goal for either team, to put Lewiston ahead 3-1. Chad Denny fired a laser off the right post and past Levasseur for his eighth of the playoffs at 16:59 to cap the scoring.

The same teams will lace up their skates tonight at 7 p.m. at the Colisee.


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