LEWISTON — A 14-game losing streak was the last straw.

Thirty-one games into the Lewiston Maineiacs’ seventh season, the organization announced Thursday that head coach and president Don MacAdam and assistant coach Jamie Dumont have been relieved of their duties, effective immediately.

“It was time for a change,” Maineiacs’ CEO and principal owner Mark Just said Thursday night.

“When (MacAdam) came in here, he came into a real tough situation in the community, and he did a great job, a great job in the community, and I appreciate that,” Just said. “But going forward from what he did, to get to where we want to go, I needed more from someone going forward. He filled an amazing void at a time of need, but getting past that time of need, there are other needs this team has.”

Hockey operations assistant Justin Murch was also released.

MacAdam said Thursday he was a bit surprised with the timing and the reasoning behind the move.

“The pitter-patter behind you (during a losing streak) is based on reality,” MacAdam said. “Coaches don’t do a good job sometimes, no question. Some coaches do a real good job, and the resources aren’t available to succeed, and there’s any number of combinations in between. I will not make any apologies for the quality or the effort of the work we put in to help the Maineiacs succeed. I’ve coached a long time. I know that our efforts were as good as we could possibly provide.”

Former Lewiston assistant Jeff Guay, who has been on a leave of absence from the team this season, will take over as the team’s interim head coach. Associate scout Tim Schurman, son of Moncton GM Bill Schurman, will be the team’s assistant coach. Just said he plans on hiring a full-time head coach by the end of the league’s holiday break.

“Jeff’s someone we know and trust,” Just said. “He’s been around the players before; he knows the league and we think he’ll do a good job.”

“We wish him nothing but the best,” MacAdam said of Guay.

Just said that until a new coach is hired, the team’s players would not be available for comment regarding MacAdam or the coaching change. 

In addition, Colisee owner Jim Cain has been hired as the team’s executive vice president of Club Operations.

“On the financial side, I needed someone, and he has a vested interest because he wants this team to succeed, of course,” Just said.

Just arrived in Lewiston Thursday to formally make the announcement in a face-to-face meeting with the hockey operations staff. That didn’t make things any easier on MacAdam, who had become attached to the area since arriving in January.

“I certainly bought into this community,” MacAdam said. “Not only buying a house, but I bought into minor hockey. Our staff worked very hard to develop minor hockey initiatives that weren’t in place before. I am more than dumbfounded, standing here in my window, looking at the Colisee and wondering why I would be fired for cause. Record? No question, when you have a record like we have … get the guilty parties, though. Justin, Jamie and I did not put this team together. We were certainly behind the organization’s approach to everything, but I have no idea why I would get fired for cause.”

MacAdam has been the team’s bench boss since January, when he replaced fired coach Ed Harding in the middle of the last campaign. Since then, he’s compiled an 18-34-1 record in part of two seasons.

During the off-season, he was also given the role of team president and presided over the front office staff.

“I took bullets for Mr. Just all summer,” MacAdam said. “Since October, I’ve been taking them from him.”

Jamie Dumont assumed the role of assistant coach at the beginning of the 2009-10 campaign after a stint as a head coach in the European hockey leagues.

“Things always happen for a reason,” Dumont said Thursday night. “It’s never easy.”

“Jamie is a hell of a coach,” MacAdam said.

This season, the Lewiston Maineiacs are sitting in 17th place in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and have a record of 10-20-0-1 with 21 points.

Guay will hold his first practice as the team’s head coach Friday morning at the Colisee.

“I’m hoping we can put a few new systems in place that will help limit the shots on goal and help out defensively,” Guay said. “I think we have some things we can put in place that will help right away.”

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