An inspiring performance
Wednesday night saw the Lions hosting the Worcester Railers, the ECHL’s top team. Worcester is first overall in the league with an impressive 16-3-1 record. The Lions had their work cut out for them if they wanted to extend their home-winning streak to six games.
Right off the bat, Trois-Rivières’ Anthony Beauregard intercepted a pass in the slot and found himself in all alone against Railers’ netminder Henrik Tikkanen. Much to the disappointment of the Colisée Vidéotron fans, the Lions’ forward narrowly missed the target. However, the Lions were relentless and continued to press during the opening period. Olivier Galipeau made a magnificent pass to James Phelan, but once again Tikkanen made a key save to keep the game scoreless. Centreman Beauregard was apparently only getting started, and after taking a pass from Nicolas Guay, he found the back of the net to make the score 1-0 Lions. With the goal, Beauregard extended his goalscoring streak to three games. With less than three minutes to go in the first period, the Lions’ Philippe Bureau-Blais found himself on a breakaway and he scored his first goal in a Trois-Rivières uniform, giving the Lions a 2-0 lead.
Trois-Rivières’ Galipeau pounced on a loose puck in the slot at the start of the second period and, presto, the Lions were up 3-0. The defenceman has now scored a goal in three consecutive games. Somewhat a forgotten man up until this point, Lions’ goaltender Philippe Desrosiers had to be alert to make two quality saves in fast order against Brent Beaudoin. The Lions thought they had made it 4-0 when defenceman Mathieu Brodeur led a terrific breakout, only to have their hopes dashed when Brett Stapley, alone in the slot, saw his shot hit the post bang-on, thwarting the forward from scoring his first goal of the season.
The Lions limited the Railers’ scoring opportunities in the third period, with Worcester only able to direct eight shots at Desrosiers. Trois-Rivieres' best scoring chance came when Cédric Montminy completely fooled the Worcester defence corps and then fed Francis Thibeault. However, Tikkanen deprived the defenceman of a certain goal with an exceptional glove save. The Railers tried to get back into the game with a Quinn Ryan goal, but the Lions’ William Leblanc iced the game with an empty net goal moments later.
The Lions’ 4-1 victory was their sixth straight win at Colisée Vidéotron, and this against the ECHL’s best team. Next up for the Lions is a two-game set in Portland, Maine against the Mariners on Friday and Saturday night.