LEWISTON — It hasn’t taken long for the newest Lewiston Maineiacs’ skaters to make a positive impression.

With all of the movement leading up to the team’s two home games at the tail end of last week, the Maineiacs had to throw several players who’d just been acquired into the mix without much time to prepare. Skaters who played their first few games for the Maineiacs in the past week included Cameron Critchlow, Jess Tanguy, Matthew Bissonette and Ian Saab.

In his first game, Critchlow fought and contributed with a physical presence down low, finishing even in plus-minus with seven penalty minutes.

Bissonette, who’s also played in just a single game, registered a pair of assists in a 4-3 setback to Rimouski, a game in which Saab saw limited action while getting his feet wet with the Maineiacs.

“(Bissonette) had an eight-hour ride plus the border just to get here for the game,” Maineiacs’ coach J.F. Houle said. “He was a little tired, but he played well.”

Jess Tanguy, meanwhile, has been on fire. In three games with Lewiston the slight 17-year-old puck-control specialist has two goals and four assists, and has been instrumental in turning around the team’s power play with his ability to maintain puck possession along the walls.

“These new guys are going to be good,” Houle said. “We have a couple of new guys that are going to join us and that will help, too.”

Also returning …

Francis Beauvillier and Sam Henley also recently returned to action for Lewiston. The pair of was off representing Quebec at the World Under-17 tournament, and representing the province well. Henley registered a goal and accumulated 14 penalty minutes in five games, while Beauvillier did not score.

He made up for it in his return to Lewiston, netting a pair of goals in a 9-4 win Thursday and another goal in a 4-3 loss to Rimouski on Friday.

“The team was pretty good and the tournament itself was great,” Beauvillier said. “There were the big guys for my age there, it was great to play against them.”

Bold prediction

Apparently, members of the Lewiston Maineiacs’ organization aren’t the only ones feeling good about the team’s future.

While watching warmups before his team skated against Lewiston, Rimouski coach Clem Jodoin, who for three years directed the Maineiacs jotted notes into his pad of paper that also included the teams’ lineups.

“Look here,” Jodoin said. “There are three 19-year-olds in the game between the two teams.”

He counted the players and then looked up again and smiled.

“In two years,” Jodoin said, cracking a wide smile, “it will be Lewiston and Rimouski in the finals. They have a good, young team here, there are some good, good young players.”

Thanks for the help

After the game against Rimouski on Friday, the Maineiacs made another roster move. The team told forward Marc-Andre Carre, who was acquired from Chicoutimi in the Alexis Piette-Michal Hlinka deal, that he will remain an affiliated player, but he will no longer skate with the Maineiacs this season.

The staff was scheduled to drive Carre to the Canadian border Sunday.

Still waiting

Michal Hlinka wants to get to Lewiston, but he’s having issues crossing the border into the United States.

Hlinka skated for the Czech Republic at the World Junior Championships, and was traded to Lewiston just prior to the start of that tourney. He attempted to join the Maineiacs early last week, but was detained at the border. Lewiston officials have been working with U.S. Customs since then, trying to fill out the necessary paperwork to bring the 18-year-old forward into the country.

Team officials said this weekend that they expect Hlinka to make it to town Monday.


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