VANCOUVER, British Columbia – One down, and two more tough ones to go for the Lewiston Maineiacs. Next up: host Vancouver.

“That’s a big game, because with a win in that game, we are in the running for the final game already,” Lewiston coach Clem Jodoin said.

In Vancouver’s first game Friday night, despite the win, the Giants looked more sluggish than normal. Tuesday, the Giants played in Game 7 of their Western Hockey League final against Medicine Hat – and lost. They barely skated in the following three days, just enough to remember their systems.

But the Giants insist fatigue isn’t a factor.

“You get a little bit tired after a while, but adrenaline kicks in,” Vancouver forward Milan Lucic said. Lucic scored two goals in a 4-3 overtime win over Plymouth on Friday.

“You have little energy drinks in the room and whatnot,” Lucic continued. “That, and everyone is a competitor, they push to get the win. Adrenaline takes over and you find just a little bit more left in the tank to get the job done.”

The Maineiacs, meanwhile, are also going to battle a bit of fatigue, playing their second game in 24 hours.

“We need a rest,” Jodoin said. “That’s the big thing right now to get ready.”

“Every goal for, every goal against, counts,” Jodoin said. “It’s a huge game. Tomorrow, we have to start over again. They will be fresh, we’ll be a bit tired, but we’ll find a way, we’ll find the energy. It’s a game day.”

Stepping in

When Marc-Andre Cliche went down with a shoulder injury in the second period, Simon Courcelles knew what he had to do. He’d been there before this postseason, having to fill in for Cliche on the top line in Halifax for one game. In that game, Courcelles had a hat trick and led the team to a win.

On Saturday, Courcelles didn’t enjoy a scoring binge, but he was able to help the team steady itself and provide the leadership he and Cliche have been providing all season, and again filled in on the top line with David Perron and Pierre-Luc Faubert.

Opening up

For the second day in a row (likely for the benefit of the teams who were not participating Friday), the City of Vancouver and the Memorial Cup committee celebrated “opening day” Saturday.

The Delta Police Band entertained the crowd with a round of bagpipe and drum music.The Memorial Cup trophy itself was paraded to center ice after a video demonstration of how it made its way to the Pacific Coliseum: transported by land, air and sea by the Canadian military.

Each player from each team then heard their name called over the PA.


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