Lions run out of time against Admirals
Head coach Marc-André Bergeron and his Lions played host to the Norfolk Admirals in the first game of a three-games-in-four days series at Colisée Vidéotron. Trois-Rivières was hoping to keep the momentum going against the Virginians, as so far this season the Lions had compiled a 5-1-0 record against Norfolk.
If previous games gave rise to an expectation of an outpouring of goals between the teams – reasonable, considering that 52 goals were scored in the first six games – the first period was the opposite end of the spectrum. Both teams appeared to be content scoping each other out before there were any serious scoring chances. The Lions’ Cam Cook came close to opening the scoring on a two-on-one, but Norfolk goaltender Cale Morris stood tall. At the other end of the ice, Trois-Rivières’ Joe Vrbetic made his best save of the period against the Admirals’ Darren McCormick. After 20 minutes of play, the score was 0-0.
Norfolk had a strong start to the second period, creating plenty of traffic in front of Vrbetic's net and directing several shots his way. The Admirals’ Danny Katic made no mistake with a loose puck in front of the Trois-Rivières netminder's goal, making the score 1-0 for Norfolk. The Admirals kept the pressure on, and a few minutes later Griffin Lunn’s tight-angle top-shelf shot beat Vrbetic to double the Norfolk lead. The Lions came close to narrowing the gap on a power play opportunity when Anthony Beauregard redirected a Ryan Francis pass, but the puck clanged off the crossbar. The Lions came out firing to start the third period: Beauregard spotted Connor Welsh supporting the attack, and even though the defenceman’s shot beat Morris, it ricocheted off the post. A few minutes later, the Lions’ Cook created a turnover in the offensive zone
and he found himself in alone against Morris, but his backhanded deke didn’t fool the Admiral goalie and Cook remained on the hunt for his first professional goal. At the midway mark of the period, Trois-Rivières’ Cédric Lacroix deflected Santino Centorame's shot to reduce the deficit to a single goal, and the 2,014 in attendance at Colisée Vidéotron couldn’t help but think a comeback was in store. A minute later, the Lions’ Ryan Zuhlsdorf made a slick pass to Francis whose one-timer failed to find the back of the net due to an exceptional save by Morris. With 24 seconds remaining, Trois-Rivières’ Beauregard found himself alone on a breakaway, but the forward couldn’t light the lamp and the visiting Admirals skated off Colisée Vidéotron ice with a 2-1 victory.