Ed Harding got his man.
The Lewiston Maineiacs’ head coach and general manager filled out his coaching staff this week. Joining Harding and returning assistant Jeff Guay behind the bench this season is Reg Bourcier, a Kenora, Ontario, native currently living in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
“He’s a kid that is just full of energy and full of a lot of good ideas,” Harding said. “In his repertoire is the fact that he really wants to take off with the physical training, strength and conditioning consulting work. That was a big plus, as well.”
Bourcier said Thursday that the chance to work in Lewiston was one he couldn’t pass up.
“The opportunity to be involved in such a great group of people at that level is something that was very attractive,” Bourcier said. “(The Maineiacs) have a real strong system in place in terms of developing a high-caliber organization, and to contribute to that success is something I’m looking forward to.”
After Harding shed the “interim” tag and took over as the team’s head coach, he began his search to fill the second assistant’s position with very specific criteria.
“I didn’t want to make the job title too long, but I was looking for three things,” Harding said.
Those qualities included coaching goaltenders, coordinating team video, and helping with strength and conditioning.
“He fit those three things better than anybody else I was looking at,” Harding said.
In addition to having played in net in the Ontario Hockey League, the East Coast Hockey League and for the University of New Brunswick, Bourcier is a partner and performance coach for Sport Science Conditioning, an outfit in Fredericton that helps athletes train better through the use of scientific methods.
“Our goal is to provide training that is as smart and efficient as possible to elevate the athletes to a different level, to help them gain an advantage in whatever their sport is,” Bourcier said.
Since last September, Bourcier also worked with the Woodstock Slammers of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League. He said relating to the level at which the players in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play will be an important key to his success as a coach.
Bourcier will have a chance, right off the top, to work with two of the better goalies in the league in Jonathan Bernier and Peter Delmas, an opportunity he already recognized.
“It’s going to be great to work with two quality goaltenders who’ve had success at this level before,” Bourcier said. “From everything I’ve heard, they’re hungry to have more success and continue to develop as players.”
His influence will go well beyond the crease, though.
“We’ll have a goaltending coach here every single day, and he’ll be working closely with the strength and conditioning part of it, off ice, and with the video coordination,” Harding said.
Harding has little doubt that Bourcier will fit in with the rest of the organization.
“I was satisfied after meeting with him that he has a lot of great qualities,” Harding said. “I think our players are going to enjoy having him around.”