All Trey Lewis could do was suit up with his teammates for Friday’s morning skate.
After four years worth of blood, sweat and tears with the Halifax Mooseheads, the Herd’s captain may very well watch his team win the QMJHL title from the sidelines on Friday night.
The league has suspended him for a game after his altercation with Baie-Comeau’s Charles Poulin and Gabriel Verpaelst during Wednesday’s Game 4.
“Any game I’ve missed it’s just been torture to be up in the stands, but there’s nothing I can do,” said Lewis. “I just have to move on.”
The fight occurred after Poulin ran over Mooseheads goalie Zach Fucale. Verpaelst was also given a game suspension and teammate Alec Jon Banville was also suspended for two games resulting from the same scrum.
Up 3-1 in their best-of-seven President Cup final series against the Drakkar, the Mooseheads have a chance to win their first league title in front of a packed house at the Metro Centre.
The Mooseheads’ heart and soul defenceman paused after being asked whether he regretted his actions.
“I guess I reacted the way I saw fit,” said Lewis, who was sporting a welt on his nose and above his right eye. “I was just trying to stand up for our goaltender.”
There’s no easy way for the Mooseheads brass to digest losing a player of Lewis’ caliber.
Mooseheads general manager Cam Russell pleaded his case to the league on Thursday night but to no avail. Though disappointed, Russell said the team is looking to move on and focus on the task at hand.
“It’s obviously a big loss,” said Russell. “You can’t say enough about a guy like Trey. He’s an ultimate competitor, an ultimate warrior. We don’t want to dwell on it; we spoke our piece and that was the league’s decision, so we move forward.”
Rookie defenceman Brian Lovell will replace Lewis in the lineup.
Russell said he’s confident the Mooseheads will rise to the occasion without one of their most important players, something they managed to repeatedly do all season.
“We’ll do it again tonight,” he said.
Win or lose, Lewis will play again this season. A victory punches his and the Mooseheads’ ticket to the Memorial Cup.
“That’s somewhat comforting,” he said. “But I’ll be around the boys tonight helping them keep the same mindset and game plan. It’s one game at a time.”