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Lions fall to the Royals

The Lions were keen to start a new winning streak after losing to the Mariners in Portland, Maine last Saturday. Head coach Marc-André Bergeron and Co. were also looking to extend a six-game winning streak at Colisée Vidéotron.

Reading came close to scoring early in the game, but Lions’ goaltender Philippe Desrosiers stymied Royals’ forward Max Newton with a pad save. A few seconds later, Trois-Rivières’ Anthony Beauregard created a turnover in the offensive zone, which gave Brett Stapley a golden scoring opportunity. However, Royals' goalkeeper Pat Nagle made back-to-back saves in quick succession. The Lions continued to attack the opposition net, but captain Cédric Montminy was unable to convert Jonathan Joannette's quality set-up. To the disappointment of the Colisée Vidéotron fans, Reading’s Brendan Hoffmann was able to solve Desrosiers with under five minutes remaining in the period. Alone in the slot, the right winger took a pass from Jordan Timmons and beat the Lions goalkeeper with a pinpoint shot, making the score 1-0 in favour of the visitors.

The Royals sought to double their lead on a power play opportunity at the start of the second period, but Desrosiers stood tall and made three crucial saves. The Lions then applied pressure of their own and the chemistry between Montminy and Joannette gave the Lions a two-on-one break, but a Royals’ defenceman intercepted the crossing pass, which otherwise would have found Joannette in alone against Nagle. Midway through the second period, Reading’s Evan Barratt thought he had found the back of the net, but his shot hit the crossbar dead-on. The teams returned to their respective locker rooms after 40 minutes of play with the score remaining unchanged at 1-0.

The Royals’ Trey Badley found himself alone in front of Desrosiers at the start of the third period, but the Saint-Hyacinthe native kept the Lions in the game by making a big save. Minutes later, Reading stormed the Lions net and Jacob Gaucher managed to launch a puck left unattended in the slot to make it 2-0. The Lions tried to get back in the game by creating several quality chances, highlighted by a Nagle toe save on Ryan Francis. With less than three minutes to go in the game, the Lions had a power play opportunity. The best chance came when Montminy made a great pass to Beauregard, but Nagle made a spectacular save to preserve his shutout.

The Lions ended up losing for a second straight time, as well as putting an end to their six-game home winning streak. Trois-Rivières will be back in action Saturday afternoon to conclude the two-game series within a span of less than 24 hours.