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Lions clinch third-place in the North Division!

The Lions had their second kick at the can Friday night to clinch a playoff spot, and once again attempted to do so against North Division rivals the Worcester Railers. Head coach Éric Bélanger’s troops did not want to blow this opportunity, especially in front of a Colisée Vidéotron crowd numbering 4,102.

After a somewhat slow start to the game, the Lions started to get their mojo working with about 10 minutes remaining in the opening period. A Philippe Desrosiers’ save in particular seemed to ignite his Trois-Rivières teammates and with just 10 seconds remaining in the period Alexis D’Aoust took advantage of an unattended puck in front of the Railers’ net to give the Lions a 1-0 lead.

The Lions came out flying in the second period and tallied four goals. Max Kaufman, Cédric Montminy, Anthony Nellis and Brenden Locke all beat Railers’ goalie Colten Ellis to make the score 5-0 and seemingly put the game out of reach for Worcester. Knowing full-well the importance of this game, the Lions were methodical and convincing in their quest for the team’s first-ever playoff appearance and showed true character in what has to be considered one of their best-played periods of the season. After 40 minutes of play, head coach Bélanger’s squad had a commanding 5-0 lead. 

The third period saw the Lions maintain their lead and dominate the Railers in all aspects of play. Desrosiers stopped all 34 shots he faced to gain the shutout and ensure his team’s victory. The Lions’ sparkling performance means this young team now officially qualifies for postseason play in its first year of operation and finishes in third place in the North Division. The Lions’ final regular-season game will be Saturday afternoon as the three-game series against Worcester wraps up, and with the Railers desperately in need of a win to have any chance of making the playoffs. Puck drop at Colisée Vidéotron is 3:00 p.m.