All things considered, Lewiston Maineiacs’ rookie keeper Jordan Kennedy passed his first test with flying colors.

Kennedy entered the game at 4:02 of the second period and stopped all 21 shots he faced as the Maineiacs tried desperately to dig themselves out of an early four-goal hole. They almost succeeded, but ultimately fell a goal short, falling to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan 4-3 in front of 1,618 at the K.C. Irving Regional Centre on Friday.

“We were absolutely brutal in front of (starting goalie Adrien) Lemay,” Maineiacs coach Don MacAdam said. “We turned the puck over on the offensive blue line on the power play for a breakaway, one other goal, Lemay made the first save, the forward had the puck and couldn’t clear it, then the defense had the puck and couldn’t clear it and on their third attempt they put it in the net.”

After the change, faced with a 4-0 deficit, Lewiston still couldn’t find a rhythm.

“They came at us hard again, and Kennedy had to make some good saves early,” MacAdam said. “We had just eight shots on net through the first half of the game. (Kennedy) was one our big bright spot tonight.”

Michael Chaput gave the visitors some life at the end of the second frame, netting his fourth of the season with two ticks left on the clock. Goals by Jean-Francois Plante, his first career QMJHL goal, and Alexis Piette, his fifth of the season, pulled the Maineiacs to within a goal at 4-3.

“We played our style of hockey in the third period, where we didn’t in the first two,” MacAdam said. “Our defense struggled as a group the entire night, and we gave up way too much ice in front of our net and allowed way too many second and third shots because we weren’t getting the puck through the offensive line to the forwards, and the forwards weren’t sure of the puck.”

Things don’t get any easier for Lewiston on this road trip. The Maineiacs faceoff against Moncton on Saturday at 6 p.m., and will head to Charlottetown, PEI to face the Rocket on Sunday at 3 p.m.

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