An important victory for the Lions
Despite a good performance against the Jacksonville Icemen on Saturday night, a lack of discipline cost head coach Eric Bélanger and his Lions dearly, as the team allowed three power play goals. Trois-Rivières was looking to rebound quickly in order to register their second road win of the season.
Unfortunately, the Lions fell into their bad habits early by giving the Solar Bears a power play opportunity right at the start of the game. Orlando’s Matthew Barnaby made no mistake with the man advantage and opened the scoring off a rebound from the slot. Trois-Rivières goaltender Philippe Desrosiers was injured on the play and was taken to the locker room and replaced by Joe Vrbetic. Orlando’s goal seemed to ignite the Lions, who became much more of a threat thereafter. James Phelan was the recipient of a magnificent pass from John Parker-Jones to create a breakaway, but the Lions forward was unable to beat Solar Bears’ netminder Jack Lafontaine, just missing the target. Moments later, Riley McKay had an excellent chance to even the score following a nice move from Alex Breton, but once again Lafontaine shut the door, and the Solar Bears led 1-0 after 20 minutes of play.
The Lions had a strong start to the second period with several good scoring chances. Left alone in the slot, Olivier Galipeau came very close to leveling the score, but Lafontaine made yet another save to keep it at 1-0. Then Trois-Rivières’ Mathieu Brodeur hit the crossbar. It seemed like it would be only a matter of time before the Lions would find the back of the net. And that was indeed the case when Colin Bilek took a loose puck in his own zone and steamrolled towards the Solar Bears’ end: His pinpoint shot was on the money to tie the score at 1-1. Then Anthony Beauregard converted Brodeur's pass to give the Lions a 2-1 lead. Trois-Rivières completely dominated the second period and were deservedly up by a goal.
The Solar Bears desperately tried to tie the game in the third period, but the Lions defence held firm, allowing only seven shots on goal. Beauregard came close to scoring for the second time in the afternoon during a power play, but his shot from the slot was stopped by Lafontaine. The home side had one final chance in the dying seconds, but Vrbetic saved Tyler Bird's shot to record his first professional shutout.
The Lions leave Florida with a win and a loss. The team will be back in action on Wednesday at Colisée Vidéotron, when the opposition will be the Norfolk Admirals. The Virginia-based team is having a tough start to the season with a 1-11-0 record.