With most of his veterans sitting in the stands, Ed Harding got a look at what his younger Lewiston Maineiacs were made of Tuesday night.

Facing a veteran Acadie-Bathurst lineup, the Maineiacs found themselves overmatched in a decisive 8-1 loss at Bathurst. It was Lewiston’s first defeat in the exhibition season, coming after an 8-5 win over the Titan.

“They had a pretty good lineup,” said Harding of the Titan’s 13 veterans that skated. “That’s what happens in the exhibition season. Our guys were sitting in the stands just watching. That’s fine. They’ll be in Friday and Saturday. It’s the exhibition season, and we have to see the young kids. It was good for me because I got to see who wanted to compete and who didn’t want to compete.”

The Titan built a 4-0 lead in front of 1,327 and never looked back. Tomas Svoboda had two goals for Acadie-Bathurst. Eric Faille had a goal and three assists while Guillaume Mailoux had a goal and two assists.

Lewiston’s lone goal came from Todd Chinova late in the first period with assists from Eric Gelinas and Tom Michalik.

“I didn’t think we had a lot of pride in wearing that uniform tonight,” said Harding. “We talk a lot about team toughness and having a lot of pride in wearing that jersey. Our guys really didn’t stand up for each other.”

Maineiacs goaltender Marc-Antoine Coulombe faced 51 shots and had 43 saves.

“It was his first Major Junior game, and he did a heck of a job,” said Harding. “He stood in there and battled hard.”

Acadie-Bathurst used Jean-Michel Lagace and Nicolas Champion in net, combining for 33 saves.

Harding also liked what he saw from wing Marc Bourgeois, a 10th-round pick.

“This kid has just battled hard all training camp,” said Harding. “We sat him out late (Monday). He competes hard. He battles. He finishes all his checks. That’s the type of player I’m looking for.”

The Titan scored four straight goals to start the game, despite the fact that Lewiston outshot Acadie-Bathurst 15-12 in the opening period.

Mathieu Perreault started the barrage at 1:08. Svoboda scored on the power play at 12:37 before Gabriel Cote and Faille tallied 35 seconds apart.

Lewiston made it 4-1 at 13:56 on Chinova’s goal.

“We played pretty well in the first,” said Harding. “We outshot them, but they took advantage of the power play. But, I’m not looking at the shots or the score. I’m looking at how we competed.”

Acadie-Bathurst dominated the second period, outshooting Lewiston 20-7. Svoboda, Cameron Critchlow and Mailloux all scored for an 8-1 advantage.

The Maineiacs came up empty on 11 power-play tries.

The Maineiacs exhibition season continues this weekend when Lewiston hosts the Titan Friday and Saturday.


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