LEWISTON – Val-d’Or coach Eric Lavigne called it boring.

The Lewiston Maineiacs called it winning. Again.

Twelve different players registered a point, goaltender Jonathan Bernier stopped all 18 shots, and Lewiston’s defense stifled the potent Foreurs’ attack to lift the Maineiacs to a 4-0 victory over Val-d’Or in Game 1 of the President’s Cup in front of a packed Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

“Every single line can score, every single line can play well offensively as well as defensively,” Maineiacs’ forward Stefan Chaput said. “In the third period, we just played our system, they came out battling, and we battled along with them.”

“We gave two goals early that we don’t normally give,” Val-d’Or coach Eric Lavigne said. “They played trap hockey after that. We can’t play from behind against them, they are boring, they close the play and the give you nothing. The only way to play them is from the lead.”

Bernier wasn’t tested often throughout the game, but on two separate occasion had to be stellar to keep his team ahead by two in the second period.

“It’s more the win than the shutout,” Bernier said. “We had to battle hard against a good offensive team like this, and we held them to 20 shots, so that was good.”

On another Val-d’Or attempt, Bernier appeared to make a lunging save on Jerome Samson. But after the game, he admitted he had a little help.

“(Defenseman Kevin) Marshall got that,” Bernier admitted. “I wasn’t sure before, but Marshall got that one.”

On the other end, Jeremy Duchesne played well, and saved the game from being a blowout early in the third, but some of the goals that did beat him were uncharacteristic.

Chaput put Lewiston on the scoreboard at 12:12 of the first when he slipped a weak, on-ice shot past Duchesne to the keeper’s blocker side from an odd angle.

“I looked to make a pass to the slot and there wasn’t anyone there,” Chaput said. “I think I caught him a bit off guard.”

Pierre-Luc Faubert added a second goal at 15:11 on the power play on a rebound after Chad Denny fired a slap shot from the left point and missed. The ricochet off the back boards came to David Perron, who, after two whacks at the puck, deferred to Faubert.

The teams skated tight in the second, with minimal chances in either direction.

In the third, the third line chipped in as Chris Tutalo blasted a one-timer through Duchesne’s legs to make it 3-0. The fourth line capped the scoring with less than a minute to play when Triston Manson scored his first of the playoffs.

“I don’t even remember my last goal,” Manson said. “I have no idea.”

Following the final goal, the teams traded jabs. Duchesne challenged Manson, but his teammates rushed in before Manson could get to him.

The goal capped off a night during which 12 different players earned a point. Bernier received an assist on Chaput’s goal in the first.

“Our game is five-on-five,” Maineiacs’ coach Clem Jodoin said. “We just have to control ourselves. It has been a trademark all season. Everybody brought their own contribution to the game.”

The Maineiacs, meanwhile, held the Foreurs scoreless on the power play, killing off seven chances.

The teams will again square off tonight at 7 p.m. at the Colisee.

 


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