The Lions were counting on a repeat performance of Friday night’s game against the Adirondack Thunder and notch a second victory in less than 24 hours, while at the same time extending their lead over the Thunder in the North Division standings. Francis Marotte got the start in goal for Trois-Rivières, taking over from Joe Vrbetic.
The Thunder came close to opening the scoring in the first period: A three-on-one break was handled by Marotte with an excellent pad save to frustrate Ivan Chukarov. A few minutes later, however, the Thunder’s Colin Long took advantage of Colin Bilek giveaway, and his pass to an uncovered Brandon Schultz in the slot resulted in a 1-0 lead for Adirondack. Then just 3:46 later it was Schultz again, scooping up a rebound off a Ryan Smith shot to make the score 2-0. The goal frenzy continued just 50 seconds later, but this time it was Trois-Rivières’ Nicolas Guay deflecting a Bradley Johnson slap shot to make the score 2-1. The home side tried to regain their two-goal lead in the latter stages of the period, but Marotte made two sensational saves to keep the score 2-1 in favour of the Thunder.
The Lions started the second period guns blazing. Guay took a terrific pass from James Phelan to create a two-on-one, and his pinpoint top-corner shot beat Thunder netminder Jake Theut to tie the game. The Lions then took advantage of a power play opportunity and scored to take their first lead of the game: D-Jay Jerome’s shot from the slot went through Theut’s legs and found the back of the Thunder net. But the lead was short-lived as the Thunder totally dominated the rest of the period, scoring twice. Adirondack’s Grant Jozefek and Travis Broughman each scored to give the Thunder a 4-3 lead after 40 minutes of play.
Although the Lions tried to even the score in the third period, the Thunder maintained their upper hand, directing 16 shots at Marotte. Trois-Rivières defenceman Alex Breton had a golden opportunity, but his backhander was saved by Theut. Lions goalie Marotte kept his team in the game by making several key saves, but Trois-Rivières could not find the goal they so desperately needed. With only one second remaining in the game, the Thunder’s Brady Fleurent scored into an empty net to make the final score 5-3 for Adirondack.
The Lions ended up losing for the ninth time in their last 10 games. On a positive note, Marotte was sensational in the loss, stopping 45 of the 49 shots he faced. The Lions now look ahead to Sunday afternoon as they hope to take the series in the final game of the three played in Glens Falls. Puck drop is at 3:00 p.m.