Snow day alters schedule

With weather forecasters calling for more than a foot of snow last Wednesday, the Maineiacs got proactive about their workout schedule. Following a win over Shawinigan on Tuesday night, the team remained in the locker room, not for disciplinary reasons, but rather to go through a lifting session.

“We planned it, we had a lift after our game,” Maineiacs’ coach J.F. Houle said. “They got some good exercise in that way.”

With Wednesday off, Thursday’s practice changed in tenor, too. Instead of drills focused on tactics, the Maineiacs ended up playing a glorified game of four-on-four shinny hockey, to help stretch out their legs.

“(Thursday) was fun, we got our legs going, got a little sweat up,” Houle said. “I think it’s important to do that once in a while. You need to let the guys know it can be fun around here once in a while, too.”

Answering the bell

A pair of three-game suspensions to two of the team’s top four defensemen could have been a ready-mad excuse to lose a game or two.

Instead, it’s become a motivator for the team’s remaining defenders.

“They all played well, they did what they had to do,” Houle said. “They didn’t overdo it, they stayed within the system. Shawinigan has a good team, but they stayed within the system. (Goalie Andrey) Makarov made some good saves to keep us in it, and all around it was a solid effort. Some of those ‘D’ stepped up to the challenge, for sure.”

Welcome back

Cole Hawes wasted little time picking right back up where he left off.

Hawes, a 17-year-old forward for Lewiston, was injured in a game just prior to Christmas break, and was out of the lineup for more than a month.

At the time of his injury, Hawes had a modest three-game points streak going, registering three goals and an assist in three games.

Since returning to the lineup, Hawes has two goals and two assists in two games.

“He’s a good player, he’s been playing well,” Houle said. “I was happy with him, he kept in shape while he was injured. When guys are coming back into the lineup, that’s what they have to do. We’re pleased with the work ethic he’s brought with him.”

Playing with everyone

Given the Maineiacs’ flexibility with depth at forward, it stands to reason lines will be shuffled frequently. That, Houle said, adds to the danger the Maineiacs pose to opposing teams.

“I think everybody knows we’re shuffling things around, and I think everyone knows everybody will have to play with everybody,” Houle said. “I think it’s good like that. You get to know more of your teammates. There’s a wide array of chemistry on the team, and it’s harder for other teams to stop that way.”

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