The objective for Lions’ head coach Marc-André Bergeron and Co. was to end their three-games-in-three-days series against the Adirondack Thunder with a win. A victory would give Trois-Rivières four out of a possible six points during their weekend stay in Glens Falls, New York.
The Thunder, of course, had their own visions of victory. And they showed they weren’t fooling around after only 80 seconds into the game. Laval native Xavier Parent teamed up with Colin Long and the two executed a great play that resulted in Parent in alone against Lions’ netminder Joe Vrbetic. The Thunder forward beat Vrbetic with a top-shelf shot, giving Adirondack a 1-0 lead. A few minutes later it was Parent once again, this time setting up Ryan Da Silva who was going full throttle towards the Lions’ goal. The 24-year-old forward’s perfect shot found the back of the net, increasing the Thunder’s lead to 2-0. Trois-Rivières tried to get back into the game, but two Alex Breton chances were stopped by Thunder goalie Isaac Poulter. After 20 minutes of play Adirondack led 2-0.
The Lions put pedal to the metal at the start of the second period. While shorthanded, Colin Bilek scored his tenth goal of the season to narrow the score to 2-1. With eight minutes remaining in the period, the Thunder’s Ryan Orgel was penalized for interference. The Lions took full advantage of their power play opportunity, deftly controlling the puck and ultimately Bilek scored his second goal of the game when he redirected a Nicolas Guay pass, leveling the score. But with only two minutes remaining in the period, Adirondack forward Travis Broughman exploited some poor defensive coverage and he found himself in alone against Vrbetic. His nice backhand deke made it 3-2 for the Thunder.
While we were hoping for a strong performance by the Lions in the third period, the Thunder completely dominated Trois-Rivières. Within the span of 43 seconds, Adirondack’s Patrick Grasso and Parent both scored to give the Thunder a 5-3 lead and essentially put the game out of reach for the Lions. Victimized on the fifth goal due to some sloppy play behind his net, Vrbetic was replaced by Francis Marotte. But things didn’t improve with Marotte’s arrival as the Thunder continued to dictate the pace of the game and denying the Lions much of a chance to mount a comeback. The Thunder’s Parent completed his hat trick at the midway mark of the period when he deflected Jeff Taylor's shot to make it 6-2. Not to be outdone, the Lions’ Bilek also completed his hat trick, his first as a professional, when he was the recipient of a beautiful pass from Brett Stapley on the power play. But just 1:05 later, Adirondack’s Shane Harper added insult to injury by scoring with a shot from the blue line, making the final score 7-3 for the Thunder.
It was an afternoon to forget for the Lions. The team will need to find solutions to some of their problems if they hope to rack up victories on a more consistent basis.