The Lions’ final game of 2023 took place Saturday night at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland as Trois-Rivières faced off against the Maine Mariners. The Lions have had success against the Mariners so far this season, winning four of the six games the teams have played against one another. Raising Trois-Rivières’ hopes as well is the return of Matthew Boucher to hopefully add some scoring punch, as the Lions have been having some difficulty of late finding the back of their opponents’ net: Boucher scored his first goal upon his return Friday night against the Newfoundland Growlers. Getting the start in goal for the Lions was Zachary Bouthillier while Maine countered with Shane Starrett.
The Mariners were first on the scoreboard in the first period when Brooklyn Kalmikov beat Bouthillier. A few minutes later the Lions took advantage of a 4-on-4 situation to tie the game when Boucher continued his goal scoring streak. Then slightly more than a minute later, and still at 4-on-4, the Lions’ Jakov Novak extended Trois-Rivières’ lead to 2-1.
Only one goal was scored in the second period, and unfortunately for the Lions that goal came off the stick of the Mariners’ Kalmikov, his second of the night. The teams headed into the second intermission knotted at 2-2.
No goals were scored in the third period, so for the second time in consecutive games the Lions were headed to overtime.
The Mariners couldn’t have asked for a better set of circumstances in the extra stanza, as Maine started the overtime with the man advantage which gave them the opportunity to dictate the pace. Then at 3:50 the Lions’ Miguël Tourigny was assessed a two-minute minor for slashing, giving the Mariners yet another power play opportunity. However, Maine failed to capitalize and once Tourigny left the penalty box he streaked down the ice and netted the OT winner for the Lions. A great way to end the game, and the calendar year, for the Lions!