LEWISTON — Another night, another game against Rouyn-Noranda, and another horrible mismatch in favor of the Lewiston Maineiacs.

In a game the Maineiacs dominated form the opening puck drop, Michael Chaput netted a pair of power-play goals, Etienne Brodeur collected his 32nd goal and a pair of helpers and Nick Champion extended his shutout streak to 148:51 before allowing just one goal on the night as Lewiston downed the Huskies 6-1 in font of 2,076 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

“It’s important that, mentally, the guys are prepared for every game,” Maineiacs’ coach J.F. Houle said. “I thought the guys came out and played pretty strong tonight.”

“When we play a team twice in a row, we want to sweep them out of here,” Chaput said. “(Friday) night, we didn’t play that well. Our goal was to start stronger, and I think we did that.”

Chaput played the full game alongside Matthew Bissonnette and Stefan Fournier, but did the bulk of his damage with the man advantage, getting one goal on a leaping grab that would have made Jerry Rice proud, and another on a hard-working play in front of the cage.

“That second one, I got lucky a bit, I tried to pass it to Brodeur, he shot it and it bounced right back to me and I had the open net,” Chaput said.

Champion, meanwhile, hasn’t been thinking so much about his streak, given that the three games during that stretch were not played consecutively.

“After the day off (Friday), I felt really fresh, mentally as well as physically,” Champion said. “I’d had some success in the game before that, so I wanted it to carry over.”

He shut down the Victoriaville Tigres in the final two periods of a 4-1 home loss last week, shut out the Drummondville Voltigeurs Tuesday and went more than two periods Saturday with a clean slate.

The only goal that did beat Champion on Saturday went off his own defenseman’s skate in the crease to his left on a goalmouth scramble.

“It would have been nice to get that for him, but I thought he played a very strong game,” Houle said of his keeper. “He made some big saves in the second and third period.”

That goal for Rouyn-Noranda, credited to Jason Houde, appeared to jolt a lackadaisical Lewiston squad back to reality.

Jess Tanguy followed 22 seconds later with his 17th of the season, and Cameron Critchlow hit double digits with his 10th at 11:10 of the final frame to finish the rout.

The Maineiacs dominated the opening frame in all three zones, and came out in front on the scoreboard as a result.

Sam Carrier blew the top off goaltender Jeffrey Noonan’s water bottle with a blast from the left circle on a feed from Olivier Dame-Malka with the Maineiacs on an early power play to put the home squad in front at the 11:55 mark of the first. Michael Chaput fed Dame-Malka at the point, where he faked a shot and slid the puck to Carrier for the one-timer.

Etienne Brodeur got back on the score sheet Saturday, too. The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s leading goal-scorer shot up the ice after Carrier tipped a pass on a Rouyn-Noranda power play, sending Brodeur on a 2-on-1 with Chaput. He faked the feed and sniped the top left corner of the cage behind Noonan for a 2-0 Lewiston lead.

Chaput added a goal of his own just 41 seconds into the middle frame. On the forecheck, Chaput leaped to catch a clear attempt from Noonan, caught the puck, settled it and fired it into an open net for the only goal of the period.

“The wingers were along the boards and the goalie had no choice but to try it up the middle,” Chaput said. “I was there, hoping he’d hit me, and he did.”

Despite that power-play tally, the Maineiacs failed to connect on the man advantage four other times in the second, including a 1:26 stretch of 5-on-3 hockey, though they finished 3-for-9 on the night.

“I thought we moved the puck really well, and even on the 5-on-3 we had some good quality chances,” Houle said. “It was a good team effort.”

For more photos, click here.


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