Goaltender Brogan MacDonald makes a blocker save thru the fog during a scoreless first period of a scrimmage between Team Red and Team Blue at the Maine Nordiques main camp Sunday afternoon. Team Blue won 3-1. Ron Morin photo

LEWISTON —Life has come full circle for Lewiston natives Alex Rivet, Cole Ouellette, Sam Frechette and Nick Pomerleau.

During their childhood they all attended either Maineiacs training camp and regular season games, or both. They looked up to the David Perrons, Michael Chaputs Jonathan Berniers, and Jaroslav Halaks of the world.

“They definitely played a big part (growing up), as a little kid watching them play wanting to be where they were at,” Nick Pomerleau said.

All four took part in the Maine Nordiques main camp this weekend in the same building as Tier II junior hockey makes its debut at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee this upcoming season..

Former Lewiston High School hockey players now playing for the Lewiston/Auburn Nordiques at center ice of the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston prior to a practice this past season. From left to right are Alex Rivet, Joe Bisson, Cole Ouellette and Sam Frechette (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham

“The Maineiacs always had the youth camp and I was always out there as I had family and friends who actually billeted the players,” Rivet said. “So when I went out there, I always looked up to (the Maineiacs players). This past week before the main camp, I helped out with the youth program with the Nordiques. I kinda felt the same way with the little kids as they watched me on and off the ice. They are seeing the stuff I am doing and looking up to me, it’s like being a big role model.”

Maine Nordiques associate head coach Cam Robichaud, who grew up in Auburn, went through the same thing when he was playing high school hockey at St. Dom’s and Edward Little before playing junior hockey with the Portland Jr. Pirates and Nepean Raiders of the Central Junior Hockey League in Ontario. He also attended Maineiacs training camp in 2007 as a camp invitee.

“Just a guy to look up to that’s playing at the higher level and saying: ‘Wow, I want to do that someday,’” Robichaud said. “For me it was Greg Moore and Joe Dumais who kind of of took a similar path of freshman year going to St. Dom’s, left and played junior (hockey). One-hundred percent it’s very good for young hockey players in this community to have the right junior hockey players (for) role models in this community to look up to.”

Now the four who took part in main camp this weekend are hoping they can be the role models for this generation of youth hockey players who are looking at one day playing a high level of junior hockey.

Frechette didn’t attend any of the Maineiacs training camps as a kid, but he did go to the games. He believes watching those guys drove him and others to be the best they can be.

“I think that’s why we had a big pool of kids playing at the time because we all came to the games,” Frechette said. “We looked up to them and possibly be them one day.”

Now some those kids that Frechette played with are also having success in hockey after high school hockey, such as Joe and Nick Bisson, who each played with the L/A Nordiques at different points the past two seasons. Jeromey Rancourt is with the Twin City Thunder organization while Alex Robert is playing at Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts.

“It cemented high-level hockey here in Lewiston and a lot of pride,” Ouellette said of the Maineiacs being in town. “Just watching them growing up, you can pick up on stuff they do and put it towards your game growing up. That’s what I did at least.”

FATHER AND SON BATTLE AGAINST EACH OTHER

Pomerleau, who will be playing with the L/A Nordiques of the Tier III NA3HL this season, took part in the main camp with Team Grey, which was made up mostly of the Maine Nordiques Development Program U18 players. That gave him the opportunity to go up against his dad Chris Pomerleau, the L/A Nordiques head coach this season who was coaching both Team Red and Blue this weekend.

“I think this was the first time. It was kind of fun,” Nick Pomerleau said of going up against his father.

There was an instance Saturday afternoon when Team Grey was going up against Team Red, Nick Pomerleau went to make a play at the red line in front of Team Red’s bench and his dad. As he went to dump the puck in, Nick lost his balance and it looked like Team Red was off to the races the other way. Nick took one desperate swipe of his stick as he laid on the ground and he was able to get the puck into the offensive zone.

“I kinda got a laugh out of (Team Red) when I fell,” Nick Pomerleau said. “When I made the play, they all went quiet so it was kind of funny.”

Dad had the last laugh though as Team Red defeated Team Grey 2-1 in the afternoon. Chris was also on Team Blue’s bench Saturday evening as Team Blue defeated Team Grey 4-2.

NOTABLE ABSENCES FROM CAMP

There are two notable absences from training camp when it comes to draft picks and tender signees as  draft pick Sergei Anisimov and tender Cy LeClerc didn’t attend camp.

Anisimov played for the L/A Nordiques last season, where he had 19 goals and 37 assists in 46 regular games while adding eight goals and three assists in eight playoff games. He’s back in Russia recovering from an injury. He was an 11th round pick by the Maine Nordiques this past spring.

“Unfortunately he separated his shoulder at the pre-draft camp (in May),” Maine Nordiques coach Nolan Howe said. “He went home to Russia and he had his surgery and he’s progressing well. We just got video of him skating. His rehab is going as planned. We weren’t expecting him here this weekend. The goal is to get him here in training camp to compete for a spot.”

LeClerc, a University of New New Hampshire verbal commit was also drafted by the Cedar Rough Riders of the Tier I United States Hockey League in the eighth round of the Phase II draft this spring. The 17-year-old of Brentwood, New Hampshire native had 55 goals and 57 assists in 60 games with the Seacoast Spartans 16U team last year.

He was out in Cedar Rapids, Iowa this weekend.

“He’s at their main camp and they happen to coincide the same weekend,” Howe said. “He’s there with our full support and we will see how things play out.”


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