Head coach Marc-André Bergeron and his Lions de Trois-Rivières were looking to put an end to their three-game losing streak Friday night as the team faced off against the Orlando Solar Bears at Colisée Vidéotron. A notable line-up change had goalkeeper Francis Marotte making his fourth start since joining the Lions.
It only took the Solar Bears 52 seconds into the game to find the back of the Lions’ net: Tristin Langan’s shot from the slot beat Marotte and the score was 1-0. Things didn’t get any better for the Lions when 43 seconds later Shawn Szydlowski made it 2-0 for Orlando. Trois-Rivières then started to get its act together and had most of the scoring chances in the rest of the period. The Lions’ Mathieu Brodeur and Nicolas Larivière were both unlucky as each hit the post dead-on. After 20 minutes of play, the Solar Bears led 2-0.
It was a different story in the second period as compared to the first for Marotte, as he kept his teammates in the game, especially with a pad save against Maxim Cajkovic. The Lions did their best to get on the scoresheet, with Philippe Bureau-Blais unleashing a hard shot from the blue line, but he too was unlucky when his shot clanged off the crossbar. Still down 2-0, the Lions then showed a lack of discipline, giving the Solar Bears an opportunity to flex their power play muscle. However, it turned out to be the Lions that were the more dangerous of the teams: Nicolas Guay took a Riley McKay pass, but his sure goal was taken away from him by Orlando netminder Jack LaFontaine to maintain the Solar Bears’ two-goal lead. With only six seconds remaining in the period, Cédric Montminy caused a turnover in the offensive zone and set up McKay who in turn beat LaFontaine, reducing the Orlando lead by half. After 40 minutes of play the Solar Bears led 2-1.
The Lions started the third period a team possessed, directing several shots towards the Orlando net. Montminy and D-Jay Jerome each came close to tying the game, but LaFontaine stood his ground. At the midway mark of the period it was Langan, once again, who dealt a blow to the Lions by beating Marotte, restoring a two-goal lead for Orlando. The goal seemed to deflate Trois-Rivières who had trouble dictating the pace of the game thereafter. Orlando’s Tyler Bird sealed the deal in the game’s final moments by scoring into an empty net, giving the Solar Bears a 4-1 victory. It was the Lions fourth consecutive defeat.
The team will be looking to get off the snide Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. when they take on the Solar Bears for the third time in four days. It will be a special afternoon as it is the Marvel Superheroes™ game.