LEWISTON – It took three years, but Lewiston Maineiacs’ head coach Clem Jodoin’s plan has taken shape.

On Wednesday night, the rest of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League acknowledged Jodoin’s accomplishments in Lewiston, and bestowed upon him the honor of the league’s Coach of the Year award.

“It should be shared with the coaching staff here and the scouts in the organization,” Jodoin said. “They are just as important to this team.”

Jodoin talked about his philosophy of raising players in the organization, and believing in the younger players to come through and lead the team going forward.

“It’s been a three-year plan,” Jodoin said. “We planted some seeds in the first year, going into the second going into the third. It’s a philosophy that we believe, that we installed here. Your system is your best friend.”

In three years in Lewiston, Jodoin has guided the team to a 104-61 record with 15 overtime or shootout losses and eight ties in 188 regular-season games. This season, Lewiston went 42-11-2-4 under Jodoin, who missed time last year and this year as an assistant coach with Team Canada.

In the games Jodoin was absent, Maineiacs’ assistant Ed Harding stepped in and was 14-7 with one loss each in overtime and in a shootout.

“It’s good to be recognized by your peers,” Jodoin said.

Focus, focus, focus

Drills were light Wednesday, and today’s drills will likely be even less taxing on the players.

But that didn’t stop the coaching staff from getting on players who weren’t performing up to snuff.

“You have to focus,” Jodoin yelled. “Practice with focus.”

The players admitted this week that focusing on game situations has been tough.

“We just want to get out there and play, so that part of it is tough,” Maineiacs’ forward Stefano Giliati said.

Every time a play went wrong, one of the three coaches blew their whistle, stopped play and barked more instructions. Some of the players even yelled at themselves.

Time for play

Once Jodoin left the ice, though, the kids were, well, kids.

Danick Paquette and Patrick Cusack started playing pass across the zone, and then decided to invent a new game. Each player would lob the puck as flat as they could, but well too high for the other to catch the pass. Instead, the goal was to play baseball.

Paquette managed one hit in about five minutes, while Cusack smacked two pucks with his hockey stick, one that would have dribbled back to the pitcher, and the other well “foul” down the third-base line.


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