While none of the Lewiston Maineiacs’ veterans suited up for Monday’s exhibition opener, one thing was abundantly clear: The Maineiacs’ rookies are better than those skating for Acadie-Bathurst.

Eleven different Lewiston skaters – including three of the team’s 16-year-old forwards – registered at least one point, and Kirk Rafuse stopped 20 of the 25 shots to lead the Maineiacs to an 8-5 win over the Titan in Bathurst on Monday.

“We came out very strong, we were all over them,” Maineiacs’ Head Coach and GM Ed Harding said. “We really started to run out of gas, from about six minutes to go in the second period.

Six-foot-six-inch Justin Parsons potted the Maineiacs’ first preseason goal just 2:12 into the game, and after a Bathurst goal at 12:56, the Lewiston offense came alive.

Sixteen-year-olds Billy Lacasse and Pier-Olivier Morin scored six seconds apart to make it 3-1, and two minutes later, Bourdeau and John MacDonald connected 12 seconds apart to run the Maineiacs’ lead to 5-1.

“The line of (Tomy) Dery, MacDonald and Pier-Olivier Morin was very good,” Harding said. “There’s three pretty smart hockey players right there.”

Morin, Bathurst’s Julien Rousselle and Lewiston’s Nicolas Therrien traded goals in the second before Bourdeau notched his second on a penalty shot after he was hooked from behind on a partial breakaway.

“Any time you have any impedement at all, they’re going to call the penalty shot now,” Harding said. “They want the fans to be more excited, is what I’ve been told.”

In the third, with Lewiston comfortably ahead, the Titan took advantage of some lackadaisical play to score a pair, both off the stick of Vincent Couture, who finished with a hat trick and four points for the Titan.

The same two teams will square off tonight in Bathurst, and again for a pair of games at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Friday and Saturday.

Looking for a voice

The voice of the Lewiston Maineiacs is changing.

Jeff Mannix, who for two years has provided the Maineiacs’ radio play-by-play, tendered his resignation this week. The search for a replacement is currently under way.

Mannix, a 2004 graduate of the University of Maine, was also employed by Bangor-area sports radio station WZON, from which he is also resigning.

“It was time to make the move,” Mannix said. “I feel that this is the right decision for me right now.”

Mannix is headed west – way west – to Pullman, Wash., home of Washington State University, where he is hoping to start a podcast based in the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences. He is also looking into broadcasting jobs in the area, including with the five American-based Western Hockey League teams that call the Pacific Northwest home.

“I’ll certainly miss the Maineiacs,” Mannix said. “I’ll be paying attention all season, though.”

The team is hoping to fill the position before the season begins on September 13.


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