LEWISTON — Penalties and power-play goals ruined the Lewiston Maineiacs’ much-improved effort Saturday night, and the Quebec Remparts escaped with another win to take firm hold of the Telus East division title.

The Remparts scored three power-play goals in the first half of the game and held on against a furious Lewiston rally late in the third, pulling out a 4-2 victory in front of 2,611 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

“They’re really good on the power play. That’s why they’re No. 1 in the league on the power play,” Maineiacs’ coach J.F. Houle said. “We tried to come back, but it’s not the result we wanted. At least we competed in this game. I was a little disappointed (Friday), but we competed (Saturday) and we tried to come back.”

Faced with a 3-0 deficit to begin the final frame, the Maineiacs launched a full offensive on the Remparts and goalie Louis Domingue. Just 3:13 into the final frame, Cameron Critchlow netted a shorthanded goal — the team’s league-leading 15th of the season — on a feed from Antoine Houde-Caron on a rush up the right side. The goal seemed to energize the Lewiston bench.

“We played hard in the third; we had a lot of good chances,” Houle said.

The Maineiacs continued to knock on the door in the third period, but Domingue, playing his second game in as many nights, turned in another solid effort.

“He made some huge saves to keep his team at 3-0 (and 3-1) for as long as he did,” Houle said.

With time ticking down late in the third, the Maineiacs appeared to stuff the puck across the line on a pile-up in front. Originally, the call on the ice was no goal, but after a lengthy video review, officials overturned the call and awarded the goal to Pierre-Olivier Morin, pulling the Maineiacs within a goal at 3-2.

After the game, Quebec coach Patrick Roy was still incensed about the call and, instead of speaking with the media — or with anyone else — he charged back up to the replay area and demanded to take a look for himself. Upon seeing the same result, he turned quietly and stormed back to his team’s coaches’ room.

The Remparts’ well-oiled, power-play machine got a workout in the first period, and it was successful twice as Quebec picked right up where it left off Friday.

Mikael Tam, the Remparts’ captain, netted his team’s first of the night 7:04 into the game on a feed from the left boards by Jonathan Audy-Marchessault. Tam wriggled his way into the low slot on a give-and-go with Audy-Marchessault, and banged the puck past Makarov.

Officials gave Etienne Brodeur a pair of minors on the same sequence after he ran into Domingue, and the Remparts cashed in eight seconds later to make it 2-0. This time, Vincent Barnard blasted a one-timer from the top of the right circle on a power-play set in the Lewiston zone and beat keeper Andrey Makarov high glove.

Domingue also picked up where he left off. Roy has pulled his starter a handful of times this season. But for two consecutive games, he came up big against a solid attack, and particularly on Saturday.

Another pair of Quebec power plays in the first half of the second period yielded yet another Remparts power-play goal. This time, Joel Champagne fired the puck past Makarov 10 seconds into the Maineiacs’ fifth penalty kill of the game.

Lewiston’s power play has been anemic in recent weeks, and fared no better on its first try later in the second. And again, Domingue stopped several solid Lewiston chances, including tries by Michael Chaput, Matthew Bissonnette and Kirill Kabanov in close.

Lewiston has one more home game — Thursday at 7 p.m. against Montreal — before embarking on a three-game road swing.


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