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A magical evening for several former members of the Draveurs

Friday night’s game against the Newfoundland Growlers was a special evening devoted to honoring members of the Draveurs de Trois-Rivières. Roughly 60 members of the Draveurs were on hand to attend the ceremony, during which a banner commemorating the former QMJHL team was raised to the Colisée Vidéotron rafters. Lions’ head coach Marc-André Bergeron and Co. could count on the support of several Mauricie legends for the second game of a three-game series against Trois-Rivières’ Canadian rival.

To the dismay of the 3,145 fans in attendance, the Growlers had no intention of giving the Lions a free pass on this celebratory night. At the three-minute mark, Newfoundland’s Brennan Kapcheck took a Brandon Kruse pass and he went in alone against Lions’ netminder Philippe Desrosiers. The Growlers’ defenceman found the back of the net when he beat the St-Hyacinthe native with a low shot. Newfoundland notched its second goal of the game at the 14:07 mark of the first period when Kruse registered his second point of the evening by scoring a magnificent goal with a shot from the slot. The Lions’ Colin Bilek came close to narrowing the gap to one goal in the dying seconds of the period, but his shot dinged off the right post. The Lions therefore returned to their locker room after 20 minutes of play behind 2-0.

The Lions started to control the pace of the game in the second period by creating several scoring opportunities. However, Growlers' goalkeeper Luke Cavallin was sensational, a veritable brick wall when faced with the Lions’ offensive pressure. His best save came on Thomas Caron’s shot from the slot off a rebound. The Lions’ Desrosiers was also up to the challenge, stopping all eight shots he faced. His last-second pad save against the Growlers’ Brett Budgell prevented the visitors from taking a three-goal lead, so the teams retreated to their respective locker rooms with Newfoundland continuing to hold a 2-0 advantage after 40 minutes of play.

Adam Dawe dealt a blow to the Lions’ chances for a third period comeback when he made the score 3-0 at the 3:54 mark. The Growlers’ forward beat Desrosiers with a weak shot that went between the goaltender’s pads, no doubt one he’d like to have a second crack at. The Lions then had several power play opportunities and Anthony Beauregard capitalized when he took a Caron pass to launch a perfect top-corner shot, rekindling Trois-Rivières’ hopes. The Lions’ Bilek came close to reducing the deficit to a single goal in the waning minutes of the game, but Cavallin was not about to surrender a second goal. Although Trois-Rivières continued to swarm the Growlers’ net, they were unable to beat Cavallin and the Growlers proved to be victorious by a 3-1 count.