For a moment, Sebastien Piche thought his hockey season was over.

“I was scared,” Piche said. “I held my head in my hands right away.”

After a hit left him sprawled facedown at center ice Friday night, the Lewiston defenseman feared the worst. He had suffered a concussion earlier in the playoffs and thought another would end his season.

Piche is relieved that won’t be the case. He says he’s expecting to return to the Maineiacs lineup when the series moves to Val-d’Or next week. Piche had suffered a concussion in the Shawinigan series and missed time against Halifax.

“The doctor said it was not a concussion, but I blacked out because I lost my breath,” Piche said. “So, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to play the next game.”

Piche was hit by Brad Marchand late in Friday’s 4-0 Lewiston victory. The hit only cranked up emotions in an already physical series.

He did not skate in the morning with the other players, but did work out in the training room.

“I didn’t see it coming,” Piche said. “I was concentrating on the puck. I’m not sure what happened. People said it was an elbow. I looked at the film, but you couldn’t really see what happened. I got hit pretty bad, I know.”

Piche is already anxious and ready to get back on the ice after watching his teammates play Saturday.

“I know a lot of people in Val-d’Or,” he said.

Bringin’ The Noise

When Shane D’Andrea was informed that Muhammed Ali once fought in the Androscoggin Bank Colisee, the young Val-d’Or resident looked a bit puzzled.

“I don’t think he knows who Muhammed Ali is,” said his mother, Angela Lavine.

Shane, his father, Roberto D’Andrea, and his mother were among a boisterous crowd of Foreur fans visiting Lewiston this weekend. While the Colisee’s history didn’t make an impact, the building and the friendliness of the local fans impressed.

“I think it’s really nice,” Shane said of the Colisee. “It’s bigger than ours.”

Lavine was especially pleased that local fans were so helpful and welcoming when they arrived. People provided insight to places to eat and sights to see. They also inquired about their 12-hour trip and what the weather was like back home.

“It was very fun. We loved it,” said Lavine. “I love this arena. When we came in, there was someone who came over right away to talk to us.”

One thing the family was surprised about was how calm the local fans were during Friday’s game compared to what they’re accustomed to at home. Lewiston had a rowdy sell-out crowd both Friday and Saturday, but even the loudest of Colisee crowds seemed tame to Foreur fans.

Lavine said that fans typically make their presence known in Val-d’Or. She says she’s looking forward to talking with Lewiston fans next week and see what they think about the chaotic atmosphere there.

“In Val-d’Or, the people are very vocal,” said Lavine. “They scream all the time. It’s very, very loud. That’s one thing we found different. The noise is at a different level. The last game that we had against Cape Breton, our captain said he was having a hard time hearing his players on the ice because the screaming was so loud.”

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