Maine Hockey Journal

Maineiacs main focus remains on hockey

Despite all the reports and rumors of the Maineiacs demise in Lewiston, the main focus still remains on the ice for the players of the Lewiston Maineiacs.

“We are here to play hockey,” said Maineiacs coach J.F. Houle. “The players know that they will give it their hardest when they are on the ice. “

“All that stuff is out of our control.”

The Maineiacs do have a pair of big games this weekend as they head out on the road to play Acadie-Bathurst and Rimouski.

The first test will be on Saturday when faceoff against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, a team that is battling with the Maineiacs for playoff position. Acadie-Bathurst has 61 points to this point of the season with Lewiston only one point behind for the sixth seed.

“They are one of the best teams in the league,” Houle added. “They have a good goaltender, some good forwards, and some good defenseman. It will be an interesting for us. We haven’t seen them since the beginning of the year. It will be a fun game and it will be a good gauge where we are at”

Titan goaltender Olivier Roy played for Team Canada at the recent World Junior Championships and was briefly a Maineiac this summer. He was acquired at the draft in 2010 to complete the Eric Gelinas deal that sent Gelinas and Stephen Woodworth for defensemen Ian Saab and Zachary Evans-Renaud at the 2010 trade deadline.

The Maineiacs flipped Roy to the Titan for draft picks which were later sent to the Baie-Comeau Drakkar.

The Titan will also have a new coach since the last time these two teams faced in late September. The Titan let go Ron Choules in October and hired Réal Paiement, who had previous head coaching experience in the QMJHL.

“Everything is new, we watched them on tape and it’s not what they did at the beginning of the year,” Houle stated. “We will have to be on our A game.”

The Oceanic, who had high hopes at the beginning of the season, sit 11th in the overall standings and fourth in the TELUS East division, 12 points behind in Lewiston, who sit in second in the division.

“Rimouski and our team are pretty similar,” Houle added. “We are both fast and we both score a lot of goals. They went through some tough times this year and they lost (Ryan) Kavanaugh (who was traded to the Shawinigan Cataractes).”

“(Former Maineiacs coach) Clem (Jodoin) is a very good coach and I have a lot of respect for him. They are a team that can win games.”

The Maineiacs go into the weekend healthy except for Cole Hawes, who has been out with a shoulder injury for a while now. The team will be without Ian Saab for the games this weekend as he serves his two-game suspension as a result of a fight that he took part in last Sunday against the Titan.

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