Lions sweep Admirals to end three-game series
Saturday afternoon saw the Lions having an opportunity to finish the week with an unblemished record of three wins in three games against the Norfolk Admirals. Playing without Pierrick Dubé and Anthony Beauregard who both suffered injuries Friday night, head coach Éric Bélanger and his Lions were gunning for a fourth consecutive victory.
Midway through the opening period, Trois-Rivières’ John Parker-Jones came close to scoring in his third straight game, but Admirals goalkeeper Tomas Vomacka was up to the challenge and preserved the scoreless tie. A few moments later, Riley McKay and Cédric Montminy each had excellent chances to score off a two-on-one break, but once again Vomacka stood his ground. Meanwhile, Lions goaltender Thomas Sigouin – making his first start for Trois-Rivières – was more of a spectator than an active participant, stopping the three shots he faced in the opening stanza.
The Admirals tried to get on the scoreboard at the start of the second period, but Sigouin held his ground to keep the game knotted at 0-0. The Lions then launched an offensive juggernaut, storming the Norfolk goal and scoring three goals in three minutes. Trois-Rivières took advantage of a power play to make it 1-0 when Brett Stapley made a pinpoint pass to Parker-Jones, who therefore did succeed in extending his goalscoring streak. Then Nicolas Larivière, who returned to the lineup Saturday afternoon, deflected Connor Welsh's shot to double the home team's lead. Barely a minute later, McKay took advantage of a magnificent pass from Stapley to get in all alone on Vomacka, and his accurate shot resulted in a goal and a 3-0 Lions lead. And the Lions kept their foot on the gas pedal. Nestled in the slot, Jonathan Joannette redirected Olivier Galipeau's pass to make the score 4-0 going into the second intermission.
The Lions showed no mercy in the third period. Montminy benefitted from a marvelous set-up by Stapley and Parker-Jones to make the score 5-0. Sigouin shut the door the rest of the way to record his first professional shutout in his first game with the Lions. Head coach Bélanger will no doubt be proud of his players’ performance: The Lions completely dominated the Admirals, finishing the game with 42 shots, compared to only 13 directed towards Sigouin.
The Lions ended the week with a fourth consecutive victory, improving their record to 6-6-1. Trois-Rivières now heads to West Valley City in Utah to face the Grizzlies in a three-game series over the course of three days next week.