LEWISTON – And then there was one.

Colby Gilbert attended meetings late Friday night with the Lewiston Maineiacs’ coaching staff, along with the rest of the American-based players at training camp to discuss their options pertaining to making the team and retaining college eligibility.

While almost every other player opted to leave, Derek Bailey and Colby Gilbert, 19, elected to stay.

Gilbert is the lone local player left on the ice.

“We had a long talk (Friday) night,” said Colby’s father Pete. “His heart was here. This is where he wanted to stay for now and try to make the team, so we’re backing him.”

Colby admits the decision to stay was a tough one.

“They told me a worst-case scenario and didn’t give me a best-case,” said Colby. “Maybe I will stay for the rest of camp, maybe I will stay a month or two or more. Either way, this is what I wanted.”

Gilbert also admits that he tossed and turned for most of the night, trying to decide which direction to turn.

“I know I want to play hockey,” Colby said. “This is the best place to start, but it’s a big step.”

There is some dispute as to the interpretation of the NCAA guideline that governs eligibility, thanks to the last sentence of the clause which states that “all self-financed tryouts can be of any length.” The normal supposition is that after 48 hours, if a player elects to stay, that player would lose eligibility if he or she receives monetary compensation for trying out.

“We still don’t really know,” Pete said. “But in the end, this is where his heart is, so this is where he went.”

Kirk Bolduc, meanwhile, also met with team officials, who told him that they liked the way he played, but that at 19 he stood a slight chance to make the team over some younger players with a longer potential stay in the league.

“This is pretty much what I expected,” Bolduc said. “They can’t really build a team with all 19-year-olds because then there will be no future.”


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