Growlers take first game of the three-game series
Lions’ head coach Marc-André Bergeron and Co. were out to extend their winning streak to three games on Wednesday night in front of their fans at Colisée Vidéotron. However, it was not going to be an easy task as the opposition came in the form of the Eastern Conference leading Newfoundland Growlers. The Lions did have the return of goalkeeper Philippe Desrosiers in their favour, hopefully negating the Growlers offensive juggernaut.
The Newfoundlanders came close to opening the scoring, but Brett Budgell’s shot from the slot clanged off the post. A few minutes later, Trois-Rivières found the back of the Growler net when Jason Horvath, returning to the team after missing several games, exercised patience to beat Newfoundland netminder Dryden McKay. It was Horvath’s first goal in a Lions’ uniform. The visitors then came back strong with three unanswered goals to take the lead: Orrin Centazzo and Zach O'Brien combined for two goals before Jack Badini completed a nice play to give Newfoundland a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes of play.
Newfoundland continued to dominate the game in the second period. Following a Ryan Francis penalty, the Growlers’ Budgell scored off a perfect top-shelf shot, giving Newfoundland a 4-1 lead. The goal appeared to wake up the Lions, who peppered the Newfoundland goal with 10 of the game’s next 12 shots. Trois-Rivières’ Cédric Montminy was robbed of a goal on a two-on-one break when McKay made a spectacular glove save. The Lions continued to storm the Newfoundland goal, but McKay closed the door on Nicolas Guay and Cédric Lacroix during a four-on-three power play opportunity. After two periods of play, Newfoundland was ahead by a score of 4-1.
Trois-Rivières failed to capitalize on their scoring opportunities in the third period. The Lions’ best chance came on the power play when Anthony Beauregard’s rocket from the blue line dinged off the post. Meanwhile, the Growlers added to their goal total when Brennan Kapcheck scored with a nice deke on a breakaway and then Centazzo’s accurate top-corner shot completed his hat trick. The Lions ultimately went down 6-1 to the Growlers in the first game of a three-game series against their Canadian rivals.