Simon says back to back would be nice

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:26 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- His eyes light up talking about it.

Not a lot of players have the opportunity presented to Lewiston Maineiacs centre Simon Courcelles. Even fewer take advantage of it.

"I've thought about that a little bit," Courcelles said.

"It's always in the back of your mind. But I'm trying to focus on the present and trying to win it this year."

A year ago Courcelles hoisted the Memorial Cup as captain of the Quebec Remparts. This year he's back looking for another championship with the Maineiacs.

Not a lot of players have won back-to-back Memorial Cup titles. Even fewer have won two straight with different teams. You have to go back to the early '80s when Robert Savard won the tournament with the Cornwall Royals then claimed the title the following season with the Kitchener Rangers.

"It's different this time around," Courcelles said. "We're a lot further away from home. When we played last year in Moncton it was almost like playing at home.

"It's also two different teams. Last year in Quebec we were a really offensive-oriented team. This year we're a little different. We're a more balanced team. All four lines can actually play."

Courcelles, 20, was acquired by the Maineiacs in the off-season.

In his final year of junior eligibility the Laval, Que., native scored 20 goals and added 36 assists in 67 games for the Maineiacs. He added seven goals and nine assists in the playoffs as Lewiston posted a 16-1 record on their way to the QMJHL title.

"I wasn't surprised that I was traded," Courcelles said.

"I was a little surprised that I went to Lewiston. There were a few teams that I knew were interested in me, but I didn't expect to come here."

On Sunday, the Maineiacs lost 2-1 to the host Vancouver Giants. They'll finish out the round robin tonight (Sportsnet, 6 p.m.) against the Plymouth Whalers.

"I think we'll be able to bounce back from that loss and come out strong," Courcelles said. "We lost one game in the playoffs and we came out really hard in the next game. After a loss, we usually come back hard and play our best game."


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