The Lions were able to partner with the Académie de massage scientifique in its inaugural ECHL campaign. With the pandemic forcing the team to postpone several of its games, the schedule ultimately became very condensed towards the end of the season. The result was that the Lions found themselves playing several games in a short period of time: For instance, the team played eight games in just 11 days at the end of March. All the while, head coach Éric Bélanger's team was in a very tight race for a North Division playoff spot.
The Académie de massage scientifique – whose goal is to produce superior massage therapists via a quality education – was a great help to the players as they attempted to cope from the strain of playing so many games in such a short period of time. With some players also dealing with nagging injuries, the treatments offered by the academy’s students – such as physiotherapy, flush massage and tapping – allowed them to release built-up tension due to the grueling stretch of games. The players were grateful for the top-quality care they received during the four visits the team made to the academy: In fact, several players were able to recover from their injuries as the result of sessions that ranged from 20 to 45 minutes.
Kyle Sutton, the Lions’ head athletic trainer, was very pleased with the services offered by the academy: “Our partnership with the Académie de massage scientifique meant we could offer our players a higher level of care, especially concerning post-game recovery. The sessions were crucial in ensuring the players were at peak physical performance levels during our push to the playoffs at the end of the season”
It was also a rewarding experience for the Académie de massage scientifique’s students: They were able to observe situations that were different from those they experienced in the classroom. Attending the team’s games gave the students a front row seat to the issues the players experience. The students appreciated being able to practice their training on professional athletes, and they enjoyed receiving positive feedback from the Lions players.