LEWISTON — The Lewiston Maineiacshave finally found their way onto the ice. For the first time since the players have been in town this week, the players and the coaches took some cuts on the ice Thursday. The goalies went on at about 8 a.m., and the playewrs followed. Keep up with the action here at sunjournal.com/crease as we chronicle this morning’s practices.

9:01 p.m. – Team Auburn also wins the shootout, 2 goals to 1. That will take care of things for Day 2. Back to it Friday morning. See you all then!

8:51 p.m. – Team Auburn takes the game, 9-8 and will begin Friday’s game with a one-goal advantage toward the L/A Cup. Eight shooters each side now will participate in the shootout.

8:50 p.m. – With 36 seconds to play, Team Auburn holds on to a 9-8 lead. A 1/2-team shootout will follow tonight’s game action.

8:46 p.m. – Antoine Houde-Caron buries a penalty shot chance after a hooking call. Team Auburn takes a 9-8 lead, 4 minutes to play.

8:39 p.m. – Apologies for the delay…technical glitch. To get you caught up, this period we’ve seen three goals for each team, and some great goaltending from Nicholas Champion. Team Auburn has two goals from P.O. Morin and another from Chris Caissy, while Coonishish-Coon, Stef Fournier and Sotiris Athanaspoulos have goals for Team Lewiston. With about 7:30 to play, we’re knotted at 8. As a side note, Anthoine is looking very, very good out there right now. He could definitely play here.

8:12 p.m. – After two here at the ABC, we’re knotted at 5-5. Back in a few for Period 3.

8:07 p.m. – Stairs and Coonishish-Coon throw down for the first fight of the night, and the crew has to come scrape blood off the ice. Also, Rousseau has notched his third of the night to match Fournier, and it’s 5-5 with about 1:30 to play in the second period.

7:49 p.m. – That’s a hat trick for Stefan Fournier on a nice drop pass from Etienne Brodeur, and Lewiston leads for the first time tonight. Bibeau has replaced Kennedy in net for the white team, Team Auburn.

7:47 p.m. – Back to it in the second period, and Stef Fournier has another to even things up at 4-4. Team Lewiston rallies from down 3-1 ti even it up at 4-4. Kennedy continues in net for Auburn, while Nathan Kelly takes over in net for Lewiston.

7:26 p.m. – With .2 on the clock, Connor Anthoine slips one in off the defenseman’s skate and in past Kennedy. After one period, Team Auburn leads Team Lewiston, 4-3.

7:22 p.m. – Rousseau again, on a nice pass from Zach Shannon. Morin with the second assist.

7:19 p.m. – Cole MacDonald with a snipe off the top bar for Team Lewiston, and it’s a one-goal game again at 3-2 in favor of Auburn.

7:16 p.m. – Morin from Houde-Caron, and Team Auburn back on top on a gorgeous tip-in from the right side, and then another from the white squad as Marc-Antoine Rousseau from Bissonette for a 3-1 lead.

7:13 p.m. – Fournier from Tanguy and Team Lewiston is on the board and we’re knotted at 1-1. Jordan Kennedy torched on that one.

7:11 p.m. – Team Auburn, in white, scores the first goal, off an offensive zone faceoff. Matthew Bissonette with the shot that beats Tyler Piercy high.

7:05 p.m. – We’re under way here at the Colisee. A couple of early observations: No systems, and playewrs who have played in varied systems, have made this choppy early. Also, Dillon Fournier is a smoothe skater and is not afraid to jump into the play from the back end. Neither goalie has been truly tested, and Stefan Fournier has been solid in his couple of shifts.

6:58 p.m. – Referees take the ice, a playful “boo” from owner Mark Just to my right. He’s again sitting with former NBA coach Jimmy Rodgers. The rest of the coaching staff is here in the box, as well, including Darren Rumble, J.F. Houle and Steve Finn. GM Roger Shannon is here, as well. Coaches on the benches tonight will be Jamie Belleau of Lewiston High School and strength and goalie coach Reg Bourcier.

6:53 p.m. – Ice machine on the ice as teams regroup in the locker room. About 10 minutes before we start here at the ABC. Honorary coaches tonight for the games, for team Lewiston: Louis Nadeau, For Team Auburn: Gerry Berube. Both are long-time season-ticket holders with the team.

6:40 p.m. – The teams have taken the ice for warmups prior to Game 1 of the L/A Cup challenge, the first of two intrasquad matches during the Lewiston Maineiacs’ training camp. Three players from Team Lewiston, in blue, will not suit up tonight: Brayden Wood, Oskar Orrpars and Michael Chaput. For Team Auburn, in white, goaltender Andrey Makarov is absent, as he is arriving at the airport tonight and should be on the icew for Friday’s practices.

6:35 p.m. – Back up and running, more updates soon from the ABC

12:54 p.m. – This will be my last morning entry, and I’ll be back tonight for the first intrasquad game. Team Auburn is back on the ice for the individual skills portion of the practice, and the barking command of “move your feet” is resounding in the Colisee. The coaches have pushed them hard today on Day 1 on the ice. Tonight will offer folks a firsthand chance to see them in game action for the first time.

12:31 p.m. – Quick break as the ice is floodeds, and then individual skills time with the coaches for Team Auburn.

12:21 p.m. – Jay Kourkoulis, who is the godson of NHL veteran Chris Chelios, is having a good morning on defense for Team Auburn. Kennedy continues to look sharp, and he may force the team to run with three keepers for a while. Malka just blasted the puck nearly through goalie Antoine Bibeau.

11:54 a.m. – Cruising out there…GM Roger Shannon very impressed with this overall collection of players. Particularly impressive to him were Beauvillier, Bissonette, Lalonde, Dame-Malka and Kennedy in net. What a difference a year makes as far as Kennedy is concerned. Confident, quick reflexes and goiod side-to-side.

11:34 a.m. – The second drill with Team Auburn looks a bit faster than the same drill from earlier. A couple of players stand out so far: Francis Beauvillier (no surprise), Christopher Lalonde and Olivier Dame-Malka.

11:20 a.m. – Just finished speaking with the Fournier brothers. No sibling rivalry to speak of, and the chemistry they, along with the other West Island boys, bring to this team appears to already be contagious. Team Auburn has taken the ice. Players in this group include Olivier Dame-Malka, Zach Shannon, Sam Carrier, rookie prospect Jay Kourkoulis, Matthew Bissonette and goalie Jordan Kennedy.

10:50 a.m. – Out and about gathering information, several of the players for session two are milling around now, getting ready to take the ice. The Team Lewiston skills session has seen the team split into positional groups, with the forwards working with J.F. Houle, and the defensemen working with Finn and Rumble. It’s an amazing collection of coaches here this year, with all four on-ice coaches today having played at some level of pro hockey. The defensemen are practicing moving the puck from skatre to stick, in anticipation of errant passes.

10:27 a.m. – Team Lewiston back on the ice for specialized drills, specific to each position.

10:10 a.m. – The first group exits the ice, many of them huffing and puffing and sucking down water. A tough first session for Team Lewiston, and after the ice is cleaned again, the team will re-emerge and participate in specialty skills sessions with individual coaches.

9:45 a.m. – Also in the house this morning is an NBA coaching legend … no kidding. Jimmy Rodgers, an assistant with several NBA championship teams and a mentor to Phil Jackson, is perched behind the home goal, watching practice with former college roommate and Maineiacs’ majority owner Mark Just. Sports really make the world smaller.

9:33 a.m. – Old friends and former Lewiston skaters, forward Stefan Chaput and defenseman Patrick Cusack, have joined the team on the ice this morning, filling in for a couple of players who are sitting out with injuries, Missing from the ice in this group, meanwhile, are Saab, Michael Chaput and Oskar Orrpars.

9:30 a.m. – Water break. As well as Henley and a few others have looked, a few players stand out as having a rough morning right now, too. In particular, defenseman Stephane Leblanc had a few rough passing sequences and drew some extra coaching time.

9:17 a.m. – Three up-tempo passing and skating drills. Houle has delivered on his promise so far of skating the players hard this morning. A couple of early standouts in this group are Sam Henley and Connor Anthoine…

9:04 a.m. – The first of two on-ice sessions with full-squads begins. First up this morning is Team Lewiston, one of the participants in Thursday night’s L/A Cup intrasquad challenge. Interesting names in this group include first-round pick Dillon Fournier, his brother, Stefan, returning defenseman Sam Finn, and local tryout participant Connor Anthoine.

8:59 a.m. – The ice machine finishes up its final laps, cleaning up after the goalies’ skate this morning, as a few of the regular players joined coach Reg Bourcier to work out the padded cage protectors.


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