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Lions defeat Cincinnati 4-2

Wednesday night saw the Lions facing for the first and only time this season the Cincinnati Cyclones. The Ohio-based team currently sits in fifth place in the Western Conference while Trois-Rivières is in ninth spot in the Eastern Conference. With the Lions in the thick of the playoff hunt, each and every game that remains in the regular season is important.

Earlier this week the Laval Rocket returned forward Justin Ducharme to the Lions. Number 71 was a welcome addition to the line-up Wednesday making several nice plays in the offensive zone.

Even with plenty of good scoring chances for both teams, neither could find the back of the opponent’s net and the teams headed into the first intermission with goose eggs on the scoreboard.

The scoreless tie was broken less than a minute into the second period: The Lions’ Alexandre Fortin took advantage of a long pass from Luke Orysiuk and he scored on ‘Clones goaltender Sean Bonar. Eight minutes later Ducharme made his presence known and his goal gave the Lions a 2-0 lead. Cincinnati’s Justin Vaive scored less than two minutes later to get the Cyclones to within one goal. After 40 minutes of play the Lions were ahead 2-1.

The Lions’ Anthony Nellis’ 17th goal of the season at the 7:28 mark of the third period made the score 3-1. But the Cyclones were not ready to concede just yet and Sean Allen was able to beat Lions’ goalie Arturs Silovs to once again get Cincinnati to within a goal. The Cyclones pulled their goaltender near game’s end in a frantic attempt to even the score, but Alexis d’Aoust ensured a Lions’ victory with an empty net goal. Final score: Lions-4, Cyclones-2.

The Lions now take to the road and head to Worcester, Massachusetts for a two-game series against the Railers with games on Friday and Saturday nights. Trois-Rivières will be looking to put some distance between themselves and the Railers and Maine Mariners as the three teams battle for two playoff spots. The Lions’ next home game is Tuesday, April 12 when the Adirondack Thunder will be the visitors. It will be Fan Appreciation Night presented by the Centre Pédiatrique Social de Trois-Rivières.