Lions win back to back weekend games at home

St Lawrence’s faithful fans in attendance at the Lions Den in Ancienne-Lorette left the arena on Sunday feeling reassured that the team is moving in the right direction. It may be early in the season, but the team chemistry and the commitment to preparing to win on a daily basis at every level are all where they need to be to create a winning effort on game day.  Fans, players, coaches and team management are excited and hopeful to see the team continue its push to re-establish the winning tradition that once defined Lions hockey.

The boys in blue hosted a young team from Sorel on Saturday. The Lions used their speed early, creating a few good scoring opportunities but eventually allowed Sorel to register the initial goal of the game on their first shot at 2:31 of the first period. Rookie Gabriel Bernier (picture) (1) tied the game on an ensuing power play. Before the end of the first frame, Bernier (2) scored his second goal of the game deflecting a point shot by Antoine Gignac, giving the home team a 2-1 edge before the end of the period.

In the second period, the Lions came out flat, allowing Sorel to tie the game and gain precious momentum while rookie net minder Xavier Desbiens held the fort to give the Lions a chance to win. Julien Poupard (1) scored his first goal of the season late in the period enabling the home team to take command of the game 3-2. Unfortunately, the lead was short-lived with Sorel evening the score at 3 a piece on a power play opportunity late in the frame.

The third period saw both teams exchange scoring chances without fashioning a game winner. During the three on three overtime period, the Lions created a few scoring chances but a shootout was necessary to finalize the game script. Hugo Guillemette scored on the Lions’ first attempt while Gabriel Bernier (3) sealed the victory after completing his first RSEQ division 1 “hat-trick”.  Xavier Desbiens stopped two of three Sorel attempts during the shooters duel. Gabriel Bernier and Juien Poupard were named 1st and 2nd stars of the game respectively. Saturday’s 4-3 victory celebration was brief as the Lions prepared to host defending league champions Andre Laurendeau on Sunday.

The Sunday showdown with Andre Laurendeau provided the Lions with an opportunity to extend their winning streak to 3 games after starting the season 0-2. St. Lawrence outshot Laurendeau 11-8 but retired with a one goal deficit after seeing the visitors score with 4 seconds remaining on a power play opportunity.

In the second period, Gabriel Bernier’s (4) hot stick continued to produce big goals for the Lions, tying the game at 1-1. Rookie Francois Xavier Duclos’ point shot was deflected by Bernier at the net beating net minder Benjamin Lajoie. The two teams retired, evened up at one at the end of the second period.

Lions veteran Samuel Dufour (1) scored what proved to be the game winning goal after battling hard at the net to create a rebound off Philippe Fortin’s point shot. Mathieu Bussiere’s (3) power play goal gave the Lions a reassuring two-goal lead with 4 minutes remaining in the game. St Pat’s rookie Tyler Knox (1) scored the final goal of the game, clinching a 4-1 win for the young Lions. Goaltender David Duquet, allowed 1 goal on 27 shots and was named 1st  star of the game while Samuel Dufour, who authored the game-winning goal, was recognized as the game’s second star.

The Lions now prepare for a very tough weekend, travelling to Montreal on Saturday evening to face a top notch veteran offence at Lionel Groulx, followed by a quick shuttle back to the Lions Den on Sunday to host St-Hycainthe.

- Coach Mike