LEWISTON — The Lewiston Maineiacs will take their show on the road this weekend, and the load will be a bit lighter.

The Maineiacs on Thursday night informed three more players of their release and trimmed their roster down to 29 players as the team readies for a two-day, two-game trip to face the Quebec Remparts.

“This will be our last round of cuts until the end of the preseason,” Maineiacs’ GM Roger Shannon said. “With the number of players we have right now with nagging, minor injuries and illnesses, it’s in our best interest to keep a few extra bodies around right now.”

Released Thursday night were goaltenders Nathan Kelly and Antoine Bibeau and forward Matt Myers, leaving the team with four goalies, nine defensemen and 16 forwards. The magic number, Shannon said, is 24 to begin the season, including three goalies.

Marc-Antoine Rousseau, previously released for school purposes on Monday, has also rejoined the team and will continue to battle for one of the final remaining forward positions.

The reason for the extra goalie appeared this week, when 20-year-old goalie Nicholas Champion received an invitation to the Montreal Canadiens’ rookie camp, brining to six the number of Maineiacs who will report to an NHL camp this fall.

“It’s great for Nick and it’s great for the organization,” Shannon said. “And it’s up to us to make sure these kids report to their camps as healthy as possible.”

Michael Chaput and Matthew Bissonnette will report to camp with the Philadelphia Flyers, Sam Carrier will attend Washington Capitals’ camp, Sam Finn has been invited to try out with the San Jose Sharks and Pierre-Olivier Morin will attend a camp with the Vancouver Canucks.

The Maineiacs, meanwhile, will play their next preseason game Friday, as the home team in an exhibition at Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec, against the Remparts. The teams will then both travel back to Quebec City for a Saturday showdown, this time with the Remparts enjoying the last change and the home squad.


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