The Gatineau Olympiques know their rink better than anyone, and they used that to their advantage on Friday night against the Lewiston MAINEiacs. Gatineau scored one goal off of a lively deflection off of the boards, then capitalized on a delay of game penalty against the MAINEiacs, en route to a 4-3 win in front of 2,338 fans at the Centre Robert Guertin.
The Olympiques struck first in the opening period, using a friendly bounce in their home arena. Hugo Laporte intentionally threw a shot wide of the cage, leading to a hard deflection out into the slot. Mitchell Porowski gobbled up the loose puck, and tucked it past a sprawling Nicholas Champion.
Gatineau started the second period off with a bang, scoring twice in 34 seconds. Taylor Burke scored their second goal on a centering feed by Jason Conrad, before Jordan Bernier finished off the rebound of Brian Birkhoff’s initial shot for a 3-0 lead.
However, the MAINEiacs came storming back, tying the contest at three. Michael Chaput’s wrist shot from the slot at 7:50 snuck through the legs of Maxime Clermont, putting the visitors on the board. Later in the period, Lewiston had some quick magic of their own, lighting the lamp twice in 48 seconds. Antoine Houde-Caron scored on the rebound of Olivier Dame-Malka’s shot at the 16:09 mark, before Jess Tanguy slammed home the rebound of Cameron Critchlow’s initial shot at 16:57.
In the third period, one goal made the difference, and it went to Gatineau on the power play. Nicolas Deslauriers tossed a shot on goal that Champion stopped. However, the rebound was loose in the crease, where Jean-Gabriel Pageau tapped it in over the line.
Lewiston had a few chances late, but the Olympiques held on for the 4-3 victory. Maxime Clermont earned the win, making 27 saves on 30 shots for Gatineau. Nicholas Champion suffered the loss for the MAINEiacs, stopping 21 of the 25 shots he faced.
The MAINEiacs and Olympiques will play the second half of their weekend series on Saturday afternoon at 4:00. After two other road games, Lewiston will return home on November 3rd to take on the Quebec Remparts.