MAINEiacs Split Home Opening Weekend
Alright, going to date myself here. Let’s take a trip back in the time machine when you could get your hands on and old record player that played albums. Do you remember the old Crossley’s or perhaps an RCA Victor model that your whacked out Jeff Spicoli-esque neighbor had and figured out how to play records in reverse? For those that remember, lay back and smile. For the rest of you Generation X’ers, Google it.
If you could take Friday night and reverse it on Saturday night, it went from the scrambled up forward intro to the Electric Light Orchestra’s ‘Fire On High’, to the decipherable, played-backwards verison where it says “The music is reversable but time is not. Turn back, turn back, turn back.”
Where heart, determination and pride checked out of the game Friday night, those qualities were re-inserted into the lineup on Saturday, and a big reason why the score went upside down in favor of the home team. Friday night could have been nerves, but credit needs to be given where it is due and the boys played Saturday night like the meant it, and by doing so, they won.
Tip of the keyboard must go to rookie Philip Wright for his fine effort Saturday evening, but I don’t want to slight Jonathan Connely’s effort Friday night. The MAINEiacs defensively played a much more sound game Saturday than Friday, and frankly I don’t think it would have mattered who was in net. Wright got some help from Mr. Post a couple times, plus an unenthused Shawinigan team looked like they were content with a split by the begining of period two.
Shawinigan may have more talent than Lewiston on paper, with or without who is missing at NHL camps, but the one thing that has dogged the Cataractes for 40 years now is heart. Lewiston was able to exploit the slower Shawinigan D on several occasions when they had their heads in the game, and created some fine opportunities for themselves. The MAINEiacs really need to do a better job of working and holding onto the puck down low and creating chances within 20 feet of the goal line. This will improve, but I am curious to see who is going to be the one who will consistently pay the price and be rewarded for doing so. The perimeter shooting is great if you’re playing a carnival game at the county fair, but it won’t win too many hockey games.
Pluses on the weekend include that of the effort of Lucas Labelle on Friday night in the loss; Etienne Brodeur’s +3, two assists, and misfortune of getting tossed for a boarding call that needs to be filed under tough luck as the Cats Tommy Tremblay really needs to stop watching Patrice Bergeron hockey training videos; Eric Gelinas steady +3 on Saturday and solid play both nights, blocking shots, doing the little things; Pier-Olivier Morin wearing the #19 and living up to the efforts of his predecessors who wore it; Matt Bourdeau who on the laser of a shot on the MAINEiacs 4th goal looked like the player that we we’re told he could be; Billy ‘The Kid’ Lacasse, and MAINEiacs voice Alex Reed’s fave to call Marc Bourgeios for their fine efforts on Saturday. Best energy line in the league, right there; and Welcome to Lewiston, Michael Chaput on his first goal of his QMJHL career and first of many.
If Lewiston can put in the kind of effort they did Saturday on a regular basis, this team is going to win it’s share of hockey games.