Lions win both road games over the weekend!
Sunday afternoon marked the first meeting of the season between the Lions and the Adirondack Thunder. The Lions entered the game sporting an 8-1 record, good for first place in the North Division, while the Thunder’s 4-3 record had them in fourth place in the North. Sunday’s game was the Thunder’s third in three days, while the Lions enjoyed an off-day Saturday after having played in Maine on Friday night, so it would seem as though the Lions would be the better rested of the two squads. Trois-Rivières opted to start Zachary Émond in goal for the first time this season after having returned from a stint in the American Hockey League, while the Thunder chose Vinnie Purpura as their netminder, having registered a 2-1 record so far this season with the loss coming in overtime.
No goals were scored in the first period. The Lions displayed an undisciplined streak, being assessed two penalties: Justin Ducharme being sent off for tripping and then Jake Bricknell getting a four-minute double minor for high sticking. The penalties contributed to the Thunder recording 13 shots on goal in the period.
Two goals were scored early in the second period: The Lions’ Anthony Beauregard tallied after 30 seconds of play off a rebound from a Cedric Montminy shot, and then a minute later Adirondack’s Ryan Smith tied the game with assists going to Jake Jeffers and Will MacKinnon. Eight penalties were called in the period with the Thunder’s MacKinnon and the Lions’ Nolan Yaremko the primary offenders. In sequence, it was Adirondack’s Jace Isley called for kneeing, then his teammate Ryan Wheeler for slashing and the Lions’ Yaremko for diving. The Thunder’s MacKinnon was next sent off for hooking, followed by Trois-Rivières’ Yaremko receiving a two-minute minor for kneeing and a five-minute major for fighting, while MacKinnon got a two-minute minor for cross-checking and a five-minute major for fighting. Quite clearly the two teams were building a high degree of animosity towards one another, with the third period beckoning.
After the penalty-filled second period, the teams settled down to playing hockey in the third. The Lions once again started strong with a goal after only 27 seconds of play: Miguël Tourigny scoring his third of the season with assists by Chris Ortiz and Ty Smilanic. Six minutes later Thunder captain Patrick Grasso scored to level the game at 2-2. Then at the 10:53 mark the Lions’ Jakov Novak scored what turned out to be the winning goal off a magnificent pass from Justin Ducharme. Only one penalty was assessed in the period, it going to the Thunder’s Jeffers for tripping. The Lions did not relinquish their lead and defeated the Thunder by a score of 3-2, finishing a satisfying weekend with back-to-back road victories.
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