LEWISTON – Chip, charge, repeat.

Chip, charge, repeat.

With as much vigor as they’ve shown in practice since August, the Lewiston Mainieacs skated their paces in practice Friday morning, with the brunt of the focus on the basic principle of dumping, chasing and cycling.

“We have to get back to what worked for us,” Mainieacs’ head coach Clem Jodoin said Friday. “We have to focus on us, what we need to do, how we’re going to play the rest of the way. Every game has to be like Game 7. Every game.”

The Maineiacs are coming off one of their more disappointing losses of the season – a 3-1 setback at Saint John on Wednesday – and are still without several key components on offense and between the pipes.

“The rest of the players have to step up,” Jodoin.

Stefan Chaput remains questionable with a bad back, which forced the coaching staff to move Eric Castonguay down to the line with Stefano Giliati and Marc-Andre Daneau. They then moved Jakub Bundil onto Marc-Andre Cliche and Pierre-Luc Faubert’s line.

“It hurts the chemistry for sure, to have someone out, but they have to adjust,” Jodoin said.

Tonight, the Maineiacs host the Drummondville Voltigeurs at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee, a team Jodoin feels is on the rise in the Western Division despite a few setbacks in recent weeks.

“I got to see them play (Thursday) night,” Jodoin said. “They looked good. They are coming around.”

The Volts had a rough start to the year after two of their top guns – Guillaume Latendresse and Derick Brassard – were unavailable to the team. Latendresse made the Montreal Canadiens, and Brassard suffered a near-season-ending injury, and is not expected back until March.

“They’ve adjusted well, and they are playing better now,” Jodoin said. “Of course, they don’t have Latendresse, but they have everyone healthy except Brassard, and their goaltending situation is straightened out.”

Lewiston will square off against a surging Cape Breton team on Sunday afternoon. The Eagles will be playing their third game in three nights, and the Maineiacs their second in two evenings.

But Jodoin declined to comment on Sunday’s game between the top two teams in the Eastern Division.

“One game at a time,” Jodoin said with a grin.

That mantra, however cliched it might be, is necessary for Jodoin and his staff, especially in dealing with his goaltending situation.

Jodoin spent the better part of the week in Canada this week, attempting to secure a backup for rookie Peter Delmas. Marc-Andre Sauve has been there for Lewiston for a couple of weeks, but Jodoin said he is having conflicts with his AAA team’s schedule, now, and may not be able to make it down this weekend.

On the other side of this issue, No. 1 netminder Jonathan Bernier can now walk without a limp on his injured ankle, but putting on a skate has been a whole other story.

Jodoin did not know Friday night when and if the problem with Sauve would be resolved.

Today’s game is at 7 p.m., while Sunday’s tilt starts at 4 p.m.


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