LEWISTON — A week’s worth of rust showed early, and the time off didn’t do anything to help the Lewiston Maineiacs later in the game, either.

Saint John fought through a pair of frustrating periods and unleashed its powerful offense in the third, overcoming an ordinary game by goalkeeper Karel St. Laurent to post a 7-4 victory over the Maineiacs in Lewiston’s first game on home ice in two weeks.

“We had the period you’d expect after being off the ice for a week,” Lewiston coach Don MacAdam said. “I didn’t expect us to be quite that dull. We got a little bit better in the second, and in the third we started to become harder to play against, but we had a situation where we had a couple of guys who just had terrible nights. They weren’t bad, they were terrible.”

Nick Petersen led the way for the Sea Dogs with a hat trick and an assist, while linemates Mike Hoffman and Stanislav Galiev had a goal and two assists each.

“Everybody has their top players, and obviously they’re a big part of our hockey team,” Saint John coach Gerard Gallant said. “The way we move the puck out of the zone benefits them.”

The Sea Dogs were coming off a big win over Drummondville on Friday, and have a rematch with the Volts on the horizon.

“This was a tough game, coming off that big win Friday,” Gallant said. “It was one of those games, we got lots of pucks to the net and had the chance to score seven goals.”

After surviving an early barrage, the Maineiacs got on the board first on their second — and final — shot of the period. Sam Finn took a feed from Mathieu Gingras at the left point, curled to the middle and fired a wrister through traffic. Michael Chaput tracked the puck down and tipped it past St. Laurent.

That shot would be Lewiston’s last scoring chance of the opening stanza. Forthy-eight seconds later, Gabriel Bourret’s shot missed the net wide to Adrien Lemay’s left, but the rebound off the end board found Petersen at the right post. The former Shawinigan sniper buried the puck behind Lemay to even things at one goal each.

Galiev, a Russian-born sniper who played last season with Indiana of the USHL, put the Sea Dogs on top at 17:04 of the first. Lewiston’s Pier-Olivier Morin tried to dump the puck into the Dogs’ zone, but his attempt hit teammate Alex Beaton in the helmet. Hoffman scooped up the puck and fed Galiev, who crossed the blue line and slipped the puck through Lemay on a snapper from 40 feet.

The Sea Dogs pushed the lead to 3-1 on a Steven Anthony strike, finishing off a 2-on-1 from Tomas Jurco at the left post just 1:50 into the frame. Despite the large shot differential, though, Lewiston stayed within striking distance. The Maineiacs converted their seventh shot of the game into their second goal when Matt Boyle registered his first goal of the season on a wrister from the left circle with the team on a power play.

The fireworks started in the third. Lewiston had a golden opportunity to even things up, but St. Laurent made a tremendous left-pad save on Jean-Francois Plante to maintain the one-goal lead. Petersen struck for his second on a Saint John power play at 11:41, kicking off a series of four goals in 3:54.

Sebastien Trudeau went next for Lewiston, sniping the top left corner over St. Laurent’s shoulder from the right circle.

The Sea Dogs put the game away with another quick pair, one each from Hoffman and Petersen. Etienne Brodeur tacked on the Maineiacs’ fourth goal with less than a minute to play, and Saint John’s Michael Kirkpatrick scored from his own zone into an empty net in the game’s waning seconds to round out the scoring.

The Maineiacs are back on the ice Wednesday on the road in Shawinigan, and face PEI on back-to-back nights Friday and Saturday.

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