LEWISTON – This might have been the one Chad Denny slap shot that Pierre-Luc Faubert didn’t mind taking off his chest.

Denny fired a missile toward the net and nailed Faubert in the logo on the front of his jersey. The puck caromed off of the speedy 20-year-old and fluttered past Val-d’Or netminder Jeremy Duchesne with exactly a minute to play to lift the Lewiston Maineiacs to a 4-3 victory over the Val-d’Or Foreurs in front of 3,677 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Saturday.

The goal, a power play tally, was the team’s fourth with an extra skater in five chances.

“Power plays and PKs are huge every time,” Maineiacs’ forward Simon Courcelles said. “When we need a big goal like we did, we scored it on the PP. In the playoffs like this, every special unit is going to be big.”

The win gives the Maineiacs a 2-0 series lead in the best-of-seven President’s Cup final. The series shifts back to Val-d’Or for Games 3, 4, and if necessary, 5, starting Tuesday.

Val-d’Or went just 1-for-9 on the power play.

“We did all we could to win this game,” Foreurs’ coach Eric Lavigne said. “We had some big chances to score, and Bernier made some big saves.”

None bigger than a stop on Val-d’Or sniper Mathieu Roy late in the third period with the Foreurs on the power play. Bernier came five feet out above the top of his crease to cut down the angle.

“You have to cut your angles,” Bernier said. “If he would have passed it, I would be done, but I just took a chance.”

Bernier stopped 30 of 33 to earn the victory, his 14th of the playoffs.

“He was outstanding,” Courcelles said. “A goaltender of his stature, he’s that kind of player who can step it up for us.”

On the flip side, Faubert’s goal capped a flurry of activity in the Val-d’Or zone after the late penalty call to Cedric Archambault.

“We gave them four goals on the power play,” Lavigne said. “Four goals. You can’t give a team four goals on the power play and win.”

Special units ruled the first period.

Well, the power plays did, anyway.

Eric Castonguay got things going for the Maineiacs at 2:15 of the first with a wicked wrister from the left circle that struck the far right post and clanked in behind Foreurs’ goalie Jeremy Duchesne on a 4-on-3 power play.

Pierre-Luc Faubert followed that on the ensuing 5-on-4, at 2:54, with a five-hole tally on a feed from David Perron.

Felix Schutz scored the Foreurs’ first goal of the series at 6:41 of the opening frame, when he nonchalantly tipped a perfect feed from Brad Marchand past Bernier at the tail end of a Val-d’Or 5-on-3.

But, Denny put the home team back in front by two with a slower-than-normal slapper from the right point that perhaps knuckled on Duchesne. The puck hit the goaltender’s left pad and found its way into the net.

The Foreurs struck quickly in the second, getting a pair of even-strength goals from Mathieu Roy and Jerome Samson to draw even at 3-3.

For the rest of the period, the Maineiacs struggled to stay even with Val-d’Or, but kept the game tied. For the first time in the series, the Foreurs had the advantage in time of possession.

At the end of the period, Bernier robbed Kristopher Letang on a blast from the right point with Val-d’Or on its sixth power play of the night.


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.