LEWISTON – The game felt a bit backwards, but the end result remained the same.

Thanks to a strong first period and a hat trick from Pierre-Luc Faubert, the Lewiston Maineiacs weathered a third period that felt like a ride on a teeter-totter and upended Rouyn-Noranda 7-4 Saturday in front of 3,218 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

“We’re not a team that usually (starts strong),” Faubert said. “We start really slow usually. Tonight, we came out stronger than usual, and that really helped us.”

The win gives Lewiston a 2-0 lead in its best-of-seven semifinal series with Rouyn-Noranda. Games 3, 4 and, if necessary, 5, are in Rouyn-Noranda next week, starting Tuesday.

“We’re happy to go back to our billets and our houses, too,” Rouyn-Noranda coach Andre Tourigny said. “We’ve lived seven days in a row on the road now, and it will be very good to go back to our houses and to our building.”

In stark contrast to Friday’s game, the teams’ offenses got to strut their stuff.

Each team scored three power-play goals among the 11 goals. Both power plays had a hard time in Game 1, and the Huskies’ power play has struggled since sniper Yannick Riendeau went down with an injury.

“It’s been two weeks our power play has struggled,” Tourigny said. “Today, we stepped up in the second and third period, and that’s very important for us. We need to score on the power play against Lewiston.”

Most of the Maineiacs’ best chances came on deflections, or with piles of traffic in front of the goaltender.

“They happen if you drive the net and you’re in front of the net,” Faubert said.

After Lewiston’s fourth goal – a Chris Tutalo tip from the right side of the cage – Tourigny replaced goalie Jean-Philippe Levasseur in favor of Guillaume Blouin. The move seemed to spark the team momentarily.

On the other end, Jonathan Bernier weathered an early storm and watched his teammates shoot out to a 3-0 lead.

“He’s steady, he’s in his zone right now, we’re expecting that,” Jodoin said.

“Before the third, when we had the lead, it wasn’t over, and it changed on us,” Bernier said. “But we won, that’s what you need to do in the playoffs.”

Stefano Giliati scored his first of the series, and third of the playoffs, on a rebound in front of Levasseur 1:53 into the game. Sebastien Piche made it 2-0 just 1:29 later when he picked off a clearing pass at the Huskies’ blue line and fired a wrist shot past Levasseur.

Faubert’s first of the game came at 9:04 of the first, and put Lewiston ahead 3-0.

“We tried to play a simple game,” Faubert said. “If you stay on the boards and make strong defensive plays, it works out well. That’s what we did, and we put the puck on the net, we positioned well, had some tip goals.”

Tutalo and Justin Munden traded goals early in the second, and Faubert added his second at 9:22 of the middle frame to put Lewiston ahead by four.

Two quick strikes 30 seconds apart to start the third period pulled Rouyn-Noranda back to within two at 5-3, but each time the Huskies got close, the Maineiacs scored another.

“We always had the killer at the right time,” Jodoin said.

Faubert finished off the hat trick at 10:26. Munden added another at 11:20, only to watch as Giliati added his second on the night to cap the scoring.


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