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09-19-2004, 03:30 AM
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Thanks to Mr B, this is an article on Halak's preseason debut, Lewiston opens the season next week on the 24th. Funny that another prospect is being coached by an ex assistant coach in Jodin, which should help him even more.

Halak impresses in Maineiac debut

HALLOWELL - He didn't stand on his head - although at times it seemed like he could have - and he didn't even appear to break a sweat.

Jaroslav Halak saw his first game action as a member of the Lewiston Maineiacs on Friday.

While the defense was solid enough in front of him that he wasn't tested nearly as much as he would be in a regular season game, he still saw enough to show the fans a thing or two about his style.

"It is different here," said Halak. "There are different leagues all around the world, and there are different styles. The ice here is smaller, and it makes it a little faster."

Halak himself admits that he doesn't necessarily play with one specific style, but just simply gets in front of the puck the best way he knows how.

"He always finds a way to keep the puck away from the net," said coach Clem Jodoin.

In a surprising full-game appearance, Halak faced 29 shots and allowed three goals, helping the Maineiacs to a 7-3 win over the Shawinigan Cataractes at Kennebec Ice Arena in the team's final in-state tune-up prior to its home opener against Acadie-Bathurst on Oct. 1.

Maxime Mathieu and Mathieu Aubin had two goals each to lead the Maineiacs' offense, while Marc-Andre Daneau, Eric Castonguay and Sheldon Wenzel also put the puck past the tandem of Shawinigan goaltenders.

"It was a win," said Jodoin. "For that we are happy, but at the same time, they had all 17 and 18-year-old players. Is it satisfying? Not really because we had some 20-year-olds playing out there. It is what it is and we will move on from here."

Overall, though, the coaching staff was pleased with what they saw, especially from Halak.

"We knew what he could do, and now he will have to adapt to playing here," said Jodoin. "He is quick from side to side, and he moves well. A good goalie will take away five to seven good scoring chances by himself, just by moving the puck well and communicating with the defense, which is still something they all have to learn."

As for the goals Halak allowed, none seemed to be entirely his fault.

The first was a strange kick off of a forward following a rebound on a power play after a defensive letdown. The second was a breakaway from center ice on a badly missed defensive assignment, leaving Halak prone in net, and the third came with less than a minute to go, with a relaxed defense on a bad hop in front that led to a blind sweeping shot by Shawinigan forward Cedric Lalonde-McNicoll.

The team will pack up and head to Chicoutimi on Sunday with a 2-1-1 record in tow and with a much more solid idea of what to expect between the pipes.

"There is a lot of time between now and the 24th of September (the date of the Maineiacs' opening game)," said Jodoin. "We have work to do, and we will do it, but with goaltending, I am happy right now."

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09-19-2004, 03:42 AM
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Thanks for the update. I for one expect big things from young Jaroslav. In EHM I have him in Hamilton now and he's tearing it up while the trade offers are pouring in. Of course, I'm sure he's good in reality too.

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