Nick MacNeil scored three power-play goals as the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles trounced the visiting Lewiston Maineiacs 6-2 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play on Saturday night.
MacNeil opened the scoring 8:56 into the match, then struck again 80 seconds later. He completed the hat trick with his ninth goal of the season midway through the third period.
Chris Culligan contributed four assists for the Screaming Eagles, who led 2-0 and 3-2 at the intermissions.
The win moved Cape Breton (8-1-0) two points ahead of the undefeated Moncton Wildcats (7-0-0) for top spot in the Atlantic Division.
Elsewhere in the QMJHL, it was: Baie-Comeau 4 Rimouski 1; Drummondville 2 Val-d'Or 1 (OT); Quebec 4 Chicoutimi 2; Rouyn-Noranda 4 Gatineau 1; Saint John 5 Halifax 1; Shawinigan 7, P.E.I. 4 ; and Victoriaville 7 Acadie-Bathurst 1.
At Sydney, N.S., Robert Slaney, Nicolas Chouinard - on a penalty shot - and Michael Stinziani also scored for Cape Breton (8-1-0), which converted on four of twelve power-play opportunities.
Danick Paquette and Michael Ward replied for Lewiston (3-5-0).
Cataractes 7 Rocket 4
At Charlottetown, Simon Lacroix scored a pair of power-play goals and added an assist to lead Shawinigan over the Rocket.
Cedric Lalonde-McNicoll chipped in with a goal and three assists for Shawinigan (7-3-0). Nicholas Petersen, Maxime Legault, Charles-Olivier Roussel and Matthew Pistilli also scored for the Cataractes, who received four assists from Pierre-Alexandre Vandall.
Benjamin Casavant, with two, Ben Duffy and Mathieu Tousignant replied for P.E.I. (2-4-1).
Tigres 7 Titan 1
At Victoriaville, Que., Maxime Tanguay scored a hat trick in the third period and added an earlier assist to lead the Tigres past Acadie-Bathurst.
Andrej Nestrasil, Jonathan Bonneau, Olivier Hinse and Ryan Jasinsky had the other goals for Victoriaville (5-4-0).
Tomy Joly scored a power-play goal for Acadie-Bathurst (5-3-2).
Drakkar 4 Oceanic 1
At Rimouski, Que., Marc-Andre Laroche scored the eventual winner 12:32 into the second period as Baie-Comeau downed the Oceanic.
Pierre-Luc Lessard, Christopher Giroux and Guillaume Goulet completed the scoring for Baie-Comeau (2-3-3).
William Plourde had the goal for Rimouski (4-3-0).
Sea Dogs 5 Mooseheads 1
At Saint John, N.B., Christopher DiDomenico scored once and assisted on two others as the Sea Dogs defeated Halifax.
Pascal Amyot, David Stich, Steven Anthony and Michael Kirkpatrick had the other goals for Saint John (3-6-0).
Logan MacMillan scored for Halifax (2-7-0).
Remparts 4 Sagueneens 2
At Quebec, Jonathan Audy-Marchessault's goal with 24 seconds remaining in the opening period proved to be the winner as the Remparts doubled Chicoutimi.
Mikhail Stefanovich, Marc-Olivier Vallerand and Dmitri Kugryshev had the other goals for Quebec (7-1-0).
Luc-Olivier Blain had both goals for Chicoutimi (3-6-0).
Huskies 4 Olympiques 1
At Rouyn-Noranda, Que., Sergey Ostapchuk scored twice as the Huskies defeated Gatineau.
Marc-Andre Bourdon and Maxime Macenauer had the other goals for Rouyn-Noranda (3-4-2), which moved into a tie with Montreal for first place in the West Division.
Hugo Laporte scored for Gatineau (3-4-1).
Voltigeurs 2 Foreurs 1 (OT)
At Val-d'Or, Que., Yannick Riendeau's power-play goal 3:11 into overtime gave Drummondville the victory over the Foreurs.
Gabriel Dumont had the other goal for Drummondville (7-1-1), which remained a point ahead of Shawinigan for first place in the Central Division.
Alexandre Monahan scored 11 seconds into the game for Val-d'Or (0-6-1).