On Saturday evening, Lions head coach Marc-André Bergeron and Co. were out to avenge the previous night’s 5-3 loss to the Newfoundland Growlers. Even though Trois-Rivières is eliminated from playoff contention, the Lions still would like nothing more than to defeat their biggest rival, and in so doing give them a chance to leave St. John’s with two victories.
The Lions’ Ryan Francis, who recorded a hat trick on Friday, came close to opening the scoring early in the game when he took a terrific pass from Brett Stapley and went in alone against Growler netminder Luke Cavallin. The 21-year-old forward made a sensational deke and fired a shot between his own legs, but Cavallin wasn’t fooled and kept the game scoreless. A few minutes later, the Growlers made the most of a power play opportunity when Ryan Chizowski made no mistake from the slot on a nice set up from Zach O'Brien and Isaac Johnson, beating Lions’ goaltender Joe Vrbetic top shelf. After 20 minutes of play the Growlers held a 1-0 lead.
Trois-Rivières started the second period strongly with several scoring opportunities, but Cavallin was up to the challenge. His highlight reel stop on Marieville native William Lemay was especially impressive. The Growlers’ Pavel Gogolev then took matters into his own hands by scoring two goals in a three-minute span to give Newfoundland a 3-0 lead. His first goal came off a breakaway, while his second was the result of an Isaac Johnson pass. After 40 minutes of play, the Lions found themselves down 3-0.
The Lions did everything in their power to give the Growlers a run for their money in the third period, but Cavallin stood tall, making several key saves. Trois-Rivières’ Nicolas Larivière was the only Lion to find the back of the net when he scored off a breakaway. At the midway mark of the period the Lions’ Anthony Beauregard thought he had narrowed the gap to a single goal, but Cavallin made a goal line save. Gogolev then completed his hat trick with an empty netter to give the Growlers a 4-1 victory. The final game of the three-game series is Sunday afternoon at Mary Brown’s Centre, with puck drop at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.