SASKATOON, Sask. — The late and lamented Lewiston MAINEiacs franchise is still imprinted on the MasterCard Memorial Cup.
Last spring, the Shawingan Cataractes won the year-end tournament thanks to help from three players from the disbanded franchise, including tourney MVP Michael Chaput. Sunday, former Lewy teammates will go head-to-head when Halifax Mooseheads co-captain Stefan Fournier does his best to be a better door than a window in front of Saskatoon Blades goalie Andrey Makarov.
"I told him that he should have a fun time with me standing in front of him," Fournier, whose role with the Mooseheads is a little like the recently Tomas Holmström's was for many years with the NHL's Detroit Red Wings, said of his meet-up with Makarov at the pre-tournament banquet. "He barked some remarks at me in Russian, I barked some inappropriate remarks at him in Russian. One of my very good friends in Lewiston was [New York Islanders prospect Kirill ] Kabanov. Makarov and Kabanov lived together in Lewiston so they taught a few things to say ... when we met here I gave him a little bit of an Urban Dictionary chirp."
In some other alternate timeline, where a torrent of red ink was no object, perhaps the MAINEiacs could have contended in 2011-12 if the franchise had remained solvent or if the financial situation had not made it more expedient for the QMJHL to fold the team and start over with the expansion Sherbrooke Phoenix, who had successful first season. Not knowing the outcome remains a lingering regret in Quebec League circles.Read More »from Memorial Cup 2013: Halifax Mooseheads’ Stefan Fournier, Saskatoon Blades’ Andrey Makarov reunite