The Lewiston Maineiacs are not fans of a 2-3-2 playoff format.

“That was our absolute last resort,” Maineiacs’ President and Governor Matt McKnight said.

McKnight and the Shawinigan organization, in conjunction with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, reached an agreement Sunday to keep the teams’ upcoming playoff series in a 2-2-1-1-1 format without sacrificing a Lewiston weekend game.

“The league was good enough to work with us,” McKnight said. “If the original schedule we proposed to the league didn’t get approved, we were going to start on Thursday so we could still maintain the 2-2-1-1-1.”

As it is, the Maineiacs will open up against the Shawinigan Cataractes on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee, and Game 2 will follow at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Games 3 and 4 will be in Shawinigan on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 27 and 28.

Game 5, if necessary, would be on Sunday, April 1 at the Colisee. Shawinigan would host Game 6 on Tuesday, April 3, and Game 7, again if necessary, would be on Wednesday, April 4.

Should the series go seven games, though, and Shawinigan defeats Lewiston, the Cataractes will be forced to travel immediately to their next playoff destination without first going home, something the league has never allowed.

“Either they thought we weren’t going to take seven games, or whatever the reasoning was, they decided to keep that date,” McKnight said. “That’s also the date of the league awards banquet, so there isn’t supposed to be a game on that date.”

Should the Maineiacs advance to Round 2, the Kora Shrine Circus will fall on the second weekend of the series, but that would likely not affect the team in a 2-3-2 series.

Two teams with a distance between them greater than 750 kilometers (about 450 miles) must play a 2-3-2 series. Of the Maineiacs’ potential second-round opponents, none are inside of 450 miles.

In the third round, a monster truck show would again fall on the second weekend of a playoff series, perhaps forcing a 2-3-2 series instead of a 2-2-1-1-1.

“This one (against Shawinigan) was the most difficult to get around,” McKnight said. “The way that the dates are blocked off for the other events aren’t as cumbersome as this one was.”


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