Eric Gelinas has 22 points in 37 games for Lewiston this season. (Getty Images)
Hi everyone! I thought I would get one more blog entry in before the winter break ended.
As you all know by now, I try to let you in on what’s going on beyond the ice. This past week, all the MAINEiacs traded names and did Secret Santa presents for Christmas. Last year I had our old captain, Marc-Andre Daneau. He plays at McGill University in Montreal now. At the time he was going through a little slump, so I bought him a bucket of concrete. There really is no mercy when it comes to Secret Santa presents.
I can’t wait to head home for Christmas. I will be going to my Mom’s house in St-jean-sur-richelieu, Que., for the holidays. It’s always a good time to be with family. My brother will be coming home from Quebec City. He goes to university up there when he is not playing baseball. I’ll be able to hang out with some friends, too. Christophe Losier of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and Billy Lacasse of the MAINEiacs are two guys I got to know really well when I moved from Ottawa to the Montreal area. Same goes for Etienne Brodeur – I’ve played hockey with him since I was seven. Hockey will still be on my mind during the break; I plan on running a couple times just to keep my cardio up.
A lot of people have been asking me about the NHL draft coming up in June, but I’m really trying not to focus on it. I was ranked seventh in the Quebec League by NHL Central Scouting among available skaters. While it was an honor, it is nothing to hang your hat on. There have been many hockey players who have been ranked high and by the time the draft came around, they never even got picked. I’m really trying to focus on playing for the MAINEiacs. The only thing I can control is how I play the game. The result of the game, what scouts think of my performance, how others are playing – I can’t control any of that. I need to focus on the things I can change rather than worry about the things I can’t.
I did get to see what it might be like to be a player at the next level. Earlier this month we had the chance to play in Portland, Maine, at the Cumberland County Civic Center, the home of the American League’s Portland Pirates. We played a two-game set there against the Quebec Remparts. Our team saluted the Maine Mariners’ back-to-back AHL championships in 1978 and 1979 and wore special orange Mariners jerseys. It was a totally different atmosphere from our normal home games at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee. While it was a lot of fun, we were all happy to get home to the Colisee.
The team is still in fourth place in the Central Division. We’ve made some gains and are starting to break some of our bad habits. On Dec. 10 we had a solid victory over Cape Breton at home. We didn’t take any stupid penalties and we were strong on the power play and penalty kill. Winning against a team like that proves that while we are a very young team, we can hang with the big boys if we just stick to our fundamentals.
I think you will see a very different MAINEiacs team after the break. Every team changes after the first half of the year. I think you will see that our rookies are going to get more confident and will start becoming QMJHL players.
Until next time…
A 6-foot-2, 190-pound defenseman, Éric Gélinas is in his second season with the Lewiston MAINEiacs of the Quebec Major Junior League after putting up three goals and 19 points in 54 games last season. The St-Jean-sur-Richelie, Que., native is eligible for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.