VAL-D’OR, Quebec – “Active stretching” apparently has taken on a new synonym: volleyball.

While five players skated at Wednesday’s morning skate at the Air Creebec Centre, the rest of the team gathered in some green space roughly 100 feet away from the rink.

In the 80-degree temperatures, the players took off their shirts and started playing their hybrid game of volleyball and hackey sack with their green and pink ball. It was a scene reminicent of Maverick and Goose playing beach volleyball in Top Gun, and the playes drew honks from some drivers passing by, and some odd looks from some local students walking back to their school from gym class.

Back on the ice

While the majority of the team played volleyball, the five players – Alex Beaton, Danick Paquette, Tom Michalik, Dave Taylor and Peter Delmas – practiced and kept their legs fresh. Of the players on the ice, only one – Taylor – played in Tuesday’s Game 3. Paquette replaced Taylor in the lineup for Game 4.

Toughing it out

Stefan Chaput left Tuesday’s game with an apparent wrist injury after taking a hard slash in the second period. He returned to the game after the Val-d’Or team doctor confirmed that his arm wasn’t broken.

But on Wednesday, Chaput wore a bright pink wrap around his wrist and hand, and his status for the game was doubtful.

Until game time.

Chaput suited up, taking a few extra shots on goal in plain clothes before doing so, making sure that he could handle the puck, and ensuring he had the chance to be in uniform, just in case the team won Wednesday.

Extra effort

A few more people sauntered into the Air Creebec Centre wearing Maineiacs’ gear on Wednesday. Team staff members Marc Gosselin, B.J. Levasseur, Rob Mainville and Jim Anderschat garbbed the keys to the team’s second minivan and drove overnight Tuesday night, arriving in Val-d’Or early Wednesday morning.

Also arriving early Wednesday was Farrell Sports Concepts, Inc. founder Dan Farrell. He supplies members of the team with shoulder pads, and drove Tuesday night from Boston to meet the team.

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