Sunday afternoon in Worcester’s DCU Center marked the first of 14 games between the Lions and the Railers this season. Both teams went into the game undefeated, so it was sure to be fascinating to see who would come out on top. And both squads were using new goaltenders, with Zachary Bouthillier in net for the Lions and Tristan Lennox between the pipes for the Railers. Eyes were also focused on the Lions’ Nolan Yaremko, who notched his first two goals of the year Saturday night against the Maine Mariners.
The first period ended up being a quiet start with neither team being able to find the back of the opposition’s net. Trois-Rivières had a shots-on-goal advantage, registering 14 shots versus the Railers’ 10, with both goalkeepers solid in their debuts. The Lions’ however, showed a lack of discipline in the opening 20 minutes, with Eric Hjorth being sent to the penalty box for high sticking at 5:32 and Anthony Beauregard going to the sin bin a few minutes later for slashing. Fans were no doubt hoping that the second period would produce a bit more action.
The second stanza proved to be fruitful for the Lions with the team scoring three goals in a five-minute span. Although the first 10 minutes of the period were similar to the way the first period played itself out, the floodgates opened at the 11:07 mark when the Lions’ Justin Ducharme opened the scoring with an assist going to Jakov Novak. A few minutes later, Matthew Boucher doubled the Lions' lead with assists from Hjorth and Cedric Montminy. The Railers then found the back of the Lions’ net thanks to Anthony Repaci who scored at the 15:55 mark, but the Lions’ Novak restored Trois-Rivières’ two-goal advantage 20 seconds later, assisted by Chris Ortiz and Hjorth.
The Lions didn’t let up in the third period, and netminder Bouthillier shone in his first game of the season. Lions captain Cedric Montminy ended the game with an unassisted empty net goal to give the Lions the 4-1 victory. Three wins in three straight days in three different cities – what a great weekend!