HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – Less than 12 hours after the Lewiston Maineiacs sulked off the ice following Game 4 of their best-of-seven quarterfinal playoff series against the Halifax Mooseheads, the team’s leaders met with head coach Clem Jodoin.

“I met with some of the players this morning,” Jodoin said Thursday. “Marc-Andre Cliche and Marc-Andre Daneau came to me and said, ‘Clem, we played a bad game last night.'”

Even before the team’s afternoon skate Thursday at the Halifax Civic Centre, the veterans buckled down. During the team’s customary volleyball game, one player chided trainer Tom Bourdon for a lack of effort in going after the ball.

“There is no one here who can talk about not having effort right now,” Maineiacs’ 20-year-old forward Pierre-Luc Faubert quipped, and then caught goaltender Jonathan Bernier’s eye. “Joe is the only one who can say that about last night. We shouldn’t be talking about effort right now.”

The game went on. So did the kidding, but once they were on the ice, the players were back to business.

“Everybody was more serious (Thursday) morning. People were more focused,” Cliche said.

In Game 4 on Wednesday, the Maineiacs allowed 55 shots on goal. Bernier stopped 52, including four in overtime, but the veterans were not pleased with the team’s performance, and they were vocal about it.

“On the boards, in our zone we’re not showing enough,” Lewiston 20-year-old forward Simon Courcelles said. “We were giving it to their defensemen the whole time, and we allowed them to come back and take some good shots.”

Part of the problem in Game 4, and perhaps even in Game 3, was the fact that Lewiston had played sub-standard hockey for a stretch of games, but had still won those games.

“We didn’t play that hard. We didn’t play that good but for some reason we kept winning,” Faubert said. “It’s maybe a wake-up call, and we needed to lose one, and if we needed to lose one this is the one to lose, in Game 4 with a 3-0 lead.”

For 25 minutes of their 45-minute practice, the Maineiacs worked on defensive zone coverage, working with all four lines on proper positions and proper pinches up high and down low.

“We needed to be focused and work on special things for next game,” Faubert said. “Things that we didn’t do well. It wasn’t important to do a lot of hard skating or anything like that.”

The Maineiacs aren’t stepping onto the ice today at all before game time, choosing instead to let the players rest and recharge their batteries. Instead, the coaching staff will meet with the players and have video sessions.

“It’s part of hockey, we have to bounce back, it’s adversity,” Courcelles said. “Now we have to see what we can do against that.”

Halifax, meanwhile, also skated Thursday, they at the Halifax Forum, site of last year’s three playoff games against Lewiston. The Mooseheads were on and off the ice in 30 minutes, and were already back at the Metro Centre dropping off their gear when Lewiston arrived to grab its stuff and go.

The teams face off in Game 5 of their best-of-seven QMJHL quarterfinal tonight at 6 p.m. at the Halifax Metro Centre. If Halifax wins again, the two teams will play Monday night at 7 p.m. at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.


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