The wind’s in the Lions’ sails!
For the third time since the start of the season, the Lions de Trois-Rivières were facing off against the Maine Mariners. The first two encounters had the Lions registering 4-2 and 6-4 victories, and fans were no doubt curious to see how the two teams had evolved since then. Two Lions have been called up to the American Hockey League: Matthew Boucher (Belleville Senators) and John Parker-Jones (Laval Rocket), while the Mariners saw Curtis Hall being called up by the Providence Bruins.
Maine’s Tyler Drevitch opened the scoring after only four minutes of play in the first period, and it marked his first goal when sporting the Mariners’ colours. The Lions responded quickly as only a-minute-and-a-half later Justin Ducharme made it 1-1 with an assist going to Alex-Olivier Voyer. Just over two minutes later the Lions took the lead when Anthony Beauregard scored his sixth goal of the season with assists going to defencemen Miguël Tourigny and Chris Ortiz. The Lions were assessed two penalties in the period, with Jakov Novak sent to the penalty box for a delay of game infraction, and Eric Hjorth was sent off for hooking. The Mariners registered 10 shots on goal in the period versus Trois-Rivières’ six.
Novak extended the Lions’ lead to 3-1 with his goal at the 7:18 mark with assists given to Ducharme and Noah Laaouan. A few minutes later the Mariners’ Tim Doherty had a shorthanded opportunity, and although the Lions’ Joe Vrbetic made the initial save, the puck did ultimately find its way into the back of the net seemingly after the whistle was blown. Video review proved that to be indeed the case, but Doherty was nevertheless awarded a penalty shot. However, Vrbetic was up to the challenge and denied Doherty. Towards the end of the period, the Lions’ Dilan Savenkov and the Mariners’ Wyllum Deveaux went toe-to-toe and each received majors for fighting. Just 30 seconds after those fisticuffs, Maine’s Cameron Askew scored his first goal with the Mariners, but only eight seconds after Askew’s marker the Lions’ Ty Smilanic scored to give the Lions a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes of play.
The third period saw only one goal, it coming from Maine’s Alex Kile who beat Vrbetic with a wraparound at the 11:22 mark. The Mariners had several scoring opportunities in the period but failed to capitalize. The Lions’ Tourigny was given a high-sticking minor at the 15:29 mark, giving the Mariners a golden opportunity to tie the game with time running out, but they could not beat Vrbetic. Even though the Lions were undisciplined garnering seven penalties, they were still able to beat the Mariners for a third time this season, by a score of 4-3.
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