LEWISTON — Carl Hayes’ speed alone wasn’t enough.

Neither was Justin Parsons’ height. Philippe Breau was simply a victim of a numbers game.

Hayes, Parsons, Morin and Breau were among a gaggle of players the Lewiston Maineiacs’ staff told Saturday to wait until next year as they pared the roster down to 27 — 24 players and three goalies, counting Jonathan Bernier and David Perron, who are representing Canada in Russia, and Stefan Chaput and Sebastien Piche who have yet to report to camp.

The cuts this year were particularly tough, Maineiacs’ Head Coach and GM Ed Harding said. Three years ago, many of the players cut from the team might have made the squad, but with a camp as deep as this year’s turned out to be, the staff had to draw a line somewhere.

“Our 50-man protected list in years past, it wasn’t very good,” Harding said. “We had 20 guys on that list who never would have played for us. Now, when this list gets formulated on September fourth … most of those guys will be able to be here and play on any given night.”

Some of the newer faces were glad to be sticking around. Among the rookies who will get a longer look this season are defenseman Eric Gelinas, forward Billy Lacasse and forward Marc Bourgeois.

“I’m very happy to still be here,” Gelinas said. “I thought I did well in this last game out here, and I’m really happy to play for this team this year.”

Goaltender Kirk Rafuse will stay on as the team’s third goaltender behind Bernier and Peter Delmas. Marc-Antoine Coulombe saw his final preseason action in the Maineiacs’ game against Acadie-Bathurst on Saturday. In two exhibition games, Coulombe allowed 12 goals, five of which came Saturday.

“Kirk Rafuse has a lot of experience, he had a heck of a year last year,” Harding said. “He benefitted from us keeping Peter Delmas, because he got to go to the Yukon for the Canada Games and get experience there. We think he’s going to be a pretty good goaltender for us.”

The final roster is still far from final. Two players — Sebastien Piche and Stefan Chaput — have yet to report to camp, and standout forward Stefano Giliati still might have a chance to play for the Albany River Rats of the American Hockey League, the Carolina Hurricanes’ minor league affiliate.

There is still also the chance that Lewiston might make a deal. The league’s preseason trade period ends Monday at noon.

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