Maine Hockey Journal

Maineiacs still have lessons to learn

It was a rocky weekend for the Lewiston Maineiacs. They suffered a 12-3 loss to the Quebec Remparts on Friday and followed that with a heartbreaking loss on Saturday against the Chicoutimi Saguneens.

Head coach J.F. Houle saw it as a lesson for the entire team.

“It was kind of a disappointment,” Houle said. “We didn’t compete against Quebec and we didn’t show up to play. We bounced back (Saturday) and I feel bad for the guys that we lost with six seconds (left).”

“It’s a part of hockey and we will use this as motivation.”

“It’s a learning lesson for all our players, you can’t dwell on it. You just got to move on.”

Chicoutimi tied the game with six seconds remaining in the game before going on to win, 5-4, in a shootout. Houle was pleased with the effort the penalty unit gave Saturday.

“We were (8)-for-9 on the penalty kill,” Houle added. “We took a couple bad penalties that put us in a bad situation, but our penalty killers I thought did a great job and (Andrei Makarov) made some big saves.”

Houle said there’s still room for improvement.

“Still there was a couple of clears that cost us a couple goals this weekend. It’s one thing we wanted to practice on today. It’s just the little things that you have to do to win games. We aren’t up to par yet, but we will in a couple of weeks.”

The coaching staff is still working with goaltender Andrei Makarov on the nuances of the North American game especially playing the puck outside the trapezoid.

“He’s adjusting okay, we had a good talk with him Friday night after the Quebec game,” Houle added.

“He understands it, he was unsure about the rule, but now he understands it. It’s a habit for him to play (the puck). We are creatures of habit and when you get something ingrained in your brain, it’s hard to get away from it.”

Houle had no update on Michael Chaput, Samuel Carrier, and Pierre-Olivier Morin, and who are all at NHL training camps right now. The official site for the Vancouver Canucks is reporting Pierre-Olivier Morin will play Tuesday night against the Calgary Flames.

Nicolas Champion was released Monday afternoon from Montreal Canadiens training camp and is on his way back to Lewiston.

NOTES: Marc-Antoine Rousseau has decided to go back to Quebec and play Junior AAA with the Valleyfield Braves this season.

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