LEWISTON – The Lewiston Maineiacs have some business to take care of – at least for one more game

The Maineiacs are one point (or one Halifax loss) away from clinching home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, which start next week. While the Mooseheads will have their own tough team to handle in Moncton tonight, the Maineiacs aren’t exactly going to have it easy at the Colisee as they host the Drummondville Voltigeurs at 7 p.m.

The Volts are on a roll through the final month of the regular season. Since Feb. 1, Drummondville has won 13 of 16 games, including a 5-1 win over the visiting Maineiacs on Feb. 24.

Offense is the Voltigeurs’ game. Derick Brassard and Guillaume Latendresse alone have combined for 190 points this season, and are two of the more feared forwards in the league. The Volts’ offensive prowess also makes them deadly on the power play, and the team has clicked at 21 percent this season.

“It’s a dominant team, offensively,” said Maineiacs coach Clem Jodoin. “There is no question. To me, Drummondville is like Moncton. They’re a very, very good team offensively, they cycle the puck well with their defensemen. We have to be on our toes.”

For the Maineiacs, the temptation will be there over the next few games to relax, knowing that the home-ice spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs is all but sewn up. The coaches are trying to impress upon the team otherwise.

“By the numbers, we’re still not done yet,” said Jodoin. “(Tonight), it’s like a playoff game. We have to start establishing consistency. We have been playing well defensively, but now it’s how we can play better offensively, how we can score more goals without giving any more up.”

Also in the mix tonight is the return of Olivier Legault. The towering forward spent more than two seasons with the Maineiacs and more than three with the organization, starting as a 16-year-old in Sherbrooke. Wanting more ice time, he asked for a trade and got his wish in a deal with Drummondville. Legault scored in his first game there, and also scored last week against the St. John’s Fog Devils, a game during which he also fought Marty Doyle, regarded as the league’s most feared fighter.

The Maineiacs are in good health, and Jodoin hopes for the rest of the season. Marc-Andre Cliche finally appears to be over his illness, and Maxime Mathieu will return to the lineup tonight. Also, Jakub Bundil had plenty of time in Sunday’s game to test his upper body injury out and appeared to be fine in practice Tuesday.

Lewiston will host the front end of a home-and-home series with the Saint John Sea Dogs on Friday and will travel to Saint John to complete the season Sunday.

“It’s important to play consistently all the way to the end,” said Jodoin. “It’s a sign of a good team, and getting ready for the playoffs. It doesn’t matter, veterans or rookies, they still have to do the job. Saint John is a proud team, and they would like to finish the season on a good note.”


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