Maine Hockey Journal

Maineiacs ready for weekend challenge

Lewiston, ME — Lewiston Maineiacs Head Coach J.F. Houle doesn’t want to hear this weekend’s road trip is going to be tough.

“So our last road trip – Rimouski, Drummondville, and (Gatineau) – was that easy?,” said Houle earlier this week after practice. “It wasn’t easy. There’s never an easy game.”

“It will be a good test for us.”

Second year forward Samuel Henley echoed the same thought.

“We’ve been winning a lot, we need to be consistent every night, it won’t be an easy game every night,” he said.

The Maineiacs packed their bags Thursday morning to embark on a three game road trip in three nights, starting Friday which they will face TELUS East Division leading Quebec Remparts twice (Friday and Sunday), and the Shawinigan Cataractes (Saturday) who have won eight out of their last nine games – which includes the 6-1 victory in Lewiston in mid-October.

“Quebec is a good team and Shawinigan is on a roll right now,” Houle added. “(Shawinigan) beat us pretty bad at home the last time.”

Henley said the team wants to show Shawinigan they caught Lewiston on a bad day the last time the two faced off.

“We remember that game. We are going to play harder for sure and we have some new players too.”

Since that game, the Maineiacs have been on roll of their own, winning eight out of nine.

Quebec hit their first bump in the road this season as they have lost three games in the month of November including the 4-3 loss to Lewiston on Nov. 3, and on Sunday they took a 6-0 beating from the Saint John Sea Dogs.

It’s a double-edge sword situation for the Maineiacs, who have Quebec coming off the loss to the Sea Dogs and playing the Gatineau Olympiques on Thursday night. On the other end, Quebec gets a Lewiston team that needed overtime to defeat the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, who only has one win on the season.

“To me, every hockey game is different, different components, momentum changes all the time,” Houle said. “It will be a good game for both teams. When they look at the standings they will see how important the game is.”

Turnovers will be a big part in the two games in the capital city of Quebec.

“It’s important for us to chip pucks in deep, a turnover against a team like Quebec might end up in your net,” Houle added.

As the old adage goes, “Speed kills.”

“We need to use our speed, our success is based on our speed, long passes and scoring on the opportunities we get,” Houle said.

The team has brought goaltender Tyler Piercy on the trip. It’s expected he will make his first start of the season this weekend.

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