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Lions fall in game two

After a rousing (albeit losing) start to the North Division semi-finals in Game One, the Lions were looking for revenge in Game Two. Head coach Éric Bélanger and his team were hoping to leave Newfoundland having equaled the series.

Well aware of what was at stake, the Lions started off strong with some quality scoring chances. Midway through the first period Shawn St-Amant took a pass from Peter Abbandonato and was able to beat Growlers’ netminder Keith Petruzzeli. For St-Amant – who missed the final month of the regular-season with a broken jaw – it was his fourth playoff point. However, the Growlers quickly stormed back with an Isaac Johnson tally. And with less than two minutes remaining in the period, Newfoundland’s Ryan Chyzowski grabbed a rebound to give the home side the lead for the first time in the game. After 20 minutes of play it was Growlers-2, Lions-1.

Lions’ goaltender Philippe Desrosiers held the fort at the beginning of the second period with a great save off of Tyler Boland to keep the score at 2-1. Desrosiers’ save seemed to ignite the Lions, who came close to leveling the game moments later. A three-on-two break led by Cédric Montminy off a beautiful pass from Alexandre Fortin was thwarted by Petruzelli, who denied the Lions’ captain with a quality kick save. Then from one end of the rink to the other it was Gordie Green who beat Desrosiers with a pinpoint shot. And just 33 seconds later the Lions goalie made an ill-advised foray from his net allowing Marc Johnstone to give the Growlers a 4-1 lead after two periods of play.

The Growlers didn’t ease up in the third period as Orrin Centazzo boosted the home team’s lead to four goals at the 4:06 mark. The Lions desperately tried to get back into the game when the team’s regular-season leading scorer Anthony Nellis took advantage of a power play opportunity and deflected Hayden Shaw's shot to make it a 5-2 game. However, Newfoundland’s Tyler Bolland finished any hope of a Lions’ comeback when he scored with three-and-a-half-minutes remaining in regulation time. Final score: Growlers-6, Lions-2.

It's stating the obvious that this is not the scenario head coach Bélanger and his players wanted with two losses in Newfoundland. But the series is far from over: The Lions will be counting on their fans’ support at Colisée Videotron for Game Three and Game Four which will take place on Tuesday, April 26 and Thursday, April 28.