The Lions played their first game following a long holiday break on Friday night at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, Maine, against the Maine Mariners.Icing a lineup that included several new faces as a result of COVID-19, the Lions started the game displaying their speed. Forward Alexis D’Aoust opened the scoring for the Lions early in the first period, with assists going to Simon-Claude Blackburn and Hayden Shaw. The first period ended with the Lions holding a 1-0 edge.
After a somewhat slow start to the second period, new recruit Gabriel Verplaest scored his first professional goal at the midway mark of the period, giving the Lions a 2-0 lead. Less than half-a-minute later Mariners forward Nate Kallen put the New Englanders on the scoresheet. The scoring bonanza continued 17 seconds later with the Lions’ Anthony Nellis finding the back of the net and giving Trois-Rivières a 3-1 advantage. Mariners forward Metis Roelens found the back of the net near the end of the second period, and the teams went to their dressing rooms with the Lions up 3-2.
In the third period, Maine’s Alex Kile scored his fifth goal of the season (in only his second game) to even the score at 3-3. Then Matthew Santos’ goal gave the Mariners the lead, and his goal was followed up with Keltie Jeri-Leon’s empty-netter late in the period. Final score: Mariners 5 – Lions 3.
The Lions next game will be on January 2 when the Lions take on the Adirondack Thunder for the first time at Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls.