VANCOUVER – Did it or didn’t it go in? If it didn’t go in, did a defenseman snag the puck?

The Lewiston Maineiacs say both happened.

Vancouver is remaining silent on the topic.

And the most important voices – those of the officials – ruled no goal, and no penalty shot.

With the seconds ticking down in the third period, the Maineiacs drew a faceoff to the right of Vancouver goalie Tyson Sexsmith. The puck stayed inside the Giants’ zone, and the puck popped out in front. Simon Courcelles jammed at it. Pierre-Luc Faubert swatted at it.

Vancouver defenseman Jonathon Blum fell on top of it.

When the horn sounded to end the game amid the roar of 13,734 screaming fans, the puck was over the goal line and in the net. Two players and Sexsmith were on their stomachs in the crease, and the Maineiacs were vehemently demanding a penalty shot.

“It was a close call. I was in the crease, I saw the guy put his hand on the puck and bring it back to himself,” Faubert said. “They went upstairs, they said they saw it. I have to give them the credit. They had a better view than I did, I guess.”

The official rule states that if any player other than the goaltender covers the puck in the crease, the opposing team is awarded a penalty shot.

“I was expecting a penalty shot, but we didn’t get it,” Maineiacs coach Clem Jodoin said. “I thought that one of their defensemen grabbed the puck, but it went the other way, so I can’t say anything.”

“It’s over, there’s nothing you can do about it now,” Faubert said.

And while the Maineiacs may have tied the score in the final seconds and sent the game to overtime, the overall flow of the game went entirely in a different direction.

After taking a 1-0 lead into the third, the Maineiacs shut it down.

“I think our effort was kind of late,” Courcelles said. “We waited until we were down 2-1 to actually come back and play a decent game. With this kind of team, it’s one of our bad habits. We tend to go up a goal or two and sit back and wait for the team to come at us.”

Lewiston also appeared gassed by the end and will get a day off today to rest and prepare for Tuesday’s round-robin finale against the Plymouth Whalers.

“We have to find a way to bounce back,” Jodoin said. “It’s over now, we have to move on.”

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