The Lions de Trois-Rivières are getting ready to launch their 2023-24 season at Colisée Vidéotron on October 20, and this next chapter in the team’s history boasts a strong line-up with plenty of talent. Although the summer months were witness to off-ice personnel movement, the leadership team now in place has done an excellent job of signing skilled and experienced players to enable the Lions to succeed.
An offence that’s pretty darn good!
The first signing for the 2023-24 season was captain Cedric Montminy. A natural-born leader with a flamboyant playing style, “Montmin” will be setting an example for his teammates both on and off the ice. Montminy has amassed an impressive 178 points in 281 ECHL games.
William Lemay will also be back, and the team will be feeding off his energy as well as his speed. With eight points in just 14 games last season, Lemay quickly showed the impact he can make with his ability to contribute to the team's offence.
With 37 points in two seasons, Nicolas Larivière returns to bolster the Lions’ offence. At 6’ 4”, he adds toughness and commands respect from opposing teams.
Another off-season highlight was the announcement of Anthony Beauregard’s return. Having set a Lions’ record with 26 goals in one season, the St-Damase, Quebec native begins his fifth ECHL campaign. He’ll be relied upon to contribute to the team's offensive production with his speed and powerful wrist shot. Beauregard has 158 points in 204 ECHL games.
The Lions will also be counting on an experienced and instinctive forward whose wheels just never stop: The talented Justin Ducharme, who proved his worth in the QMJHL before signing a two-way contract with the AHL’s Laval Rocket and the Lions in 2021-22 will be a main component of head coach Ron Choules' line-up. Having played for the AHL’s Texas Stars and the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads in 2022-23, the Mirabel, Quebec native will return to Trois-Rivières and is sure to be a fan favourite.
Matthew Boucher will be making his Lions debut at Colisée Vidéotron on October 20. His leadership skills and passion are well known, and he is sure to add a new dynamic to the team. The former Quebec Remparts captain was also the ECHL’s rookie of the year in 2020-21 when he recorded 52 points in 59 games with the Utah Grizzlies. He then earned two-way contracts (AHL / ECHL) with the Colorado Eagles / Utah Grizzlies in 2021-22 and the Belleville Senators / Iowa Heartlanders in 2022-23.
Returning forward Nicolas Guay is also a key component of the Lions’ offence. Guay registered 47 points last season.
The acquisition of Maxim Trépanier, who showcased his talents in both the QMJHL and at Concordia University, will complement the Lions’ offence perfectly. A prolific goal scorer, opposition goaltenders will have to be on their toes when Trépanier nears their net.
Big men on the blue line
The Lions are also welcoming quality defenceman Markuss Komuls, who finished the 2022-23 season in Trois-Rivières. The Latvia native played at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in the NCAA and brings crucial defensive stability to the team.
Big men Andrew Nielsen and Eric Hjorth will bring a new dimension to the team’s defence corps. Nielsen – 6’ 4” and 225 pounds – has played 258 games in the AHL. He brings size and strength and will contribute both defensively and offensively. Hjorth – 6’ 5” and 225 pounds – was a 4th round NHL draft pick (104th overall) by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2019. He’ll add plenty of speed and offence to the Lions in addition to being a physical presence.
Also on the blue line will be Trois-Rivières native Marc-Antoine Pépin, who’ll be counted upon to contribute both defensively and offensively. The 24-year-old was a mainstay of the QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes’ defence corps from 2019 to 2022, before making the leap to the pros with the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets. The 6’ 4” defenceman will be entrusted along with his teammates to ensure opposing teams get the fewest scoring chances possible.
The Laval Rocket might spread the wealth
But the story doesn’t necessarily end there: Players with two-way contracts with the Laval Rocket might ultimately become key components with the Lions. Several players could be making the 140 kilometre journey between Laval and Trois-Rivières to strengthen the Lions’ roster, providing unparalleled on-ice depth.
Experience. Young talent. Strategic additions. The Lions de Trois-Rivières are ready for the coming season. Mark your calendars: October 20 is a date not to be missed for all hockey fans.