LEWISTON — They were back, and they were running. The team divided into six groups and rotated through six stations, each exercise designed to test an aspect of the players’ fitness level.

They did pull-ups. They lifted weights. They did overhead squats, plank tests, agility runs and balance testing.

And they ran a mile. All before noon.

“It’s a good way to see where everyone is at after the summer,” Maineiacs’ coach J.F. Houle said.

Yes, indeed, it was.

Most of the players fell into the above-average range, with fitness and goaltending coach Reg Bourcier saying that on a scale of 1-to-10, with an expectation of about an 8, he saw the team, as a whole, come in at about a 9.

Some of the players were obviously packing a bit of extra weight, and others still looked like they needed muscle.

Some of the standouts, though, were returning veteran players, guys like Stefan Fournier, Cameron Critchlow, Sam Henley and Olivier Dame-Malka. Henley blazed the mile in 5:22. Newcomer Christopher Lalonde was close behind, setting a blistering pace in the first heat.

And then there were the strongest, guys like J.P Harvey, who did more than 30 reps in the bench, or Fournier with more than 25 pull-ups and more than 25 reps in the bench.

The taller guys had an edge in the jumping, and in the agility runs, which asked players to run — forward, backward and sideways — while touching several cones in a ‘T’ pattern.

The team created an internal competition out of it all, too. They spent the afternoon compiling the top finishers in each test, and will evaluate all of the players based on their overall scores.

The players, meanwhile, got the afternoon to enjoy the Great Outdoors. Thursday, it’s all systems go on the ice, with goalies at 8 a.m. and two teams to follow.

Follow along right here at In the Crease, at sunjournal.com.

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