ROUYN-NORANDA, Quebec – The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies threw everything they had at Lewiston in the first period of Tuesday night’s Game 3.

They still couldn’t gain an advantage.

The Maineiacs weathered the early storm, Pierre-Luc Faubert had three more points, and Jonathan Bernier made 34 saves to lift Lewiston to a 4-3 victory over Rouyn-Noranda in Game 3 of their best-of-seven semifinal series in front of 2,628 at the Dave Keon Arena.

“The first period cost us the game,” Rouyn-Noranda coach Andre Tourigny said. “When we play a period like that against Lewiston – they are not a team who will give up 19 shots in one period very often – we need to be in the lead.”

But the Huskies weren’t, thanks to a late first-period goal from Simon Courcelles.

“We knew they would come out like that,” Maineiacs’ coach Clem Jodoin said. “We knew the crowd, the players, they would be going hard all the time. I didn’t care if the shots were 30-2, the score was 2-2, and that’s what mattered.”

Penalties hurt, but they hurt both sides. Lewiston went 2 for 6 on the power play, while the Huskies went 3 for 7.

“We took too many penalties,” Jodoin said. “We took some bad penalties.”

Rouyn-Noranda was bolstered by the return of its leading scorer, Yannick Riendeau, who had his appendix removed less than three weeks ago. He missed five games, but he scored a goal late in the third period to make things interesting.

“Of course it’s intense. It’s exciting in the third, but goals like that happen in hockey,” Maineiacs’ forward Pierre-Luc Faubert said.

Lewiston led 3-2 going into the final period after Marc-Andre Cliche tipped home an Eric Castonguay shot from the high slot at 15:47 of the second.

David Perron made it 4-2 just 1:34 into the third on a wrap-around.

“I followed the puck after (Faubert) missed,” Perron said. “That’s just the kind of player I am. Even if the goalie had it, I would have been digging for it.”

Instead, Perron picked up a missed shot by Faubert, snuck around Rouyn-Noranda goalie Jean-Philippe Levasseur and scored.

“Jonathan Bernier has been better than Jean-Philippe Levasseur in this series, and Lewiston is winning the series,” Tourigny said. “Jean-Philippe Levasseur needs to play better than Bernier for us to have a chance to win the games.”

Bernier held up his end of the bargain on the other end.

“He was awesome,” Faubert said. “He made all the saves we needed him to make, and that’s what he has to do for us to win games.”

The teams traded goals in the first, but the Maineiacs never led.

Ivan Vishnevskiy got the Huskies on the board first at 6:31 on a blast from the left point that beat Bernier low to the blocker side.

Faubert scored his eighth of the playoffs on a rebound in front of Levasseur 1:14 later to even the score.

Rouyn-Noranda again took the lead at 13:32 when Tyler Whitehead scored off a nice feed across from Hugo Carpentier. It was the second power-play goal for the Huskies.

Lewiston took the wind out of the Huskies’ sails with less than a minute to play in the opening frame when Courcelles sniped a shot to the top right corner past Levasseur on a tipped pass from Stefano Giliati to again knot the score.


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.