LEWISTON – Tuesday night was one night the Lewiston Maineiacs’ coaching staff definitely didn’t have to worry about finding something for the players to do.

Held in limbo for a week while the rest of the league finished up their series’ after a first-round sweep of Shawinigan, most of the Maineiacs (and several fans, no doubt) gathered in front of computer screens to watch two Game 7s, each having a potential impact on the team’s playoff run.

“We’ll have both computers going,” Maineiacs’ Head Coach Clem Jodoin said Tuesday afternoon. “We want to watch them both.

In one Game 7, No. 3 Moncton hosted No. 6 Halifax. In the other, No. 4 PEI and No. 5 Acadie-Bathurst battled it out in Charlottetown.

“It doesn’t matter who we play, because we have to worry about us,” goalie Jonathan Bernier said after practice Tuesday.

But the players all admitted that during their week-and-a-half layoff, they’ve been paying attention to the other series.

“We’ve been waiting for (Tuesday) night for a week now,” Maineiacs’ captain Marc-Andre Cliche said. “We’re excited to see who we’re going to play.”

The team found out at 10:07 p.m. Tuesday, after Halifax upended Moncton 3-2 in double overtime.

The Maineiacs will gather early today, before practice, to review what they know of the Mooseheads, who will open the second round against Lewiston at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Friday night.

“We’ll be here at 9 a.m.,” Jodoin said. “We’ll have a meeting and talk about who we’re playing, which guys they have, who their power play is, all of that.”

In the week since finishing a four-game sweep of Shawinigan, Lewiston has practiced. And practiced, and practiced.

“It’s tough for the boys; they want to play,” Jodoin said. “We’re going to be shortening our practices. (Today) is going to be shorter, and then Thursday will be 30-40 minutes max.”

“The only bad part about the break is our focus, we have to stay focused,” Cliche said. “We’ve been practicing for a week now, and the coaches have been preparing stuff for us to do all together, so that helps out, too.”

In all, by Friday night, the Maineiacs will have been off for eight full days and part of a ninth. To compare, the team’s break for Christmas was 10 full days.

“We’ve been touching the ice and practicing, it’s not like Christmas,” Bernier said.

The time off has also allowed players to heal. Michal Korenko is still hampered by a leg injury, and has been resting that. Stefan Chaput has had extra time to fully recover from his concussion symptoms, and Marc-Andre Daneau has used the time to strengthen his knee even more after sitting out late in the regular season and returning against Shawinigan in Game 2.

In goal, Bernier is anxious to get back to game action, too.

“You lose a little bit of the timing of the games,” Bernier admitted. “The timing won’t be there maybe in the first period, but everything will come back pretty quick, I think, and I think in the end it will help having the rest this week.”

Halifax, meanwhile, has just one day to prepare for the Maineiacs before hopping on a bus for Lewiston on Thursday morning.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.