Lions swept by Solar Bears
The Lions were hoping to avoid a three-game series sweep at the hands of the Orlando Solar Bears on Saturday afternoon at Colisée Vidéotron. Trois-Rivières, in the throes of a four-game losing streak, was desperate to add some points in the North Division standings.
The Lions came close to opening the scoring at the midway mark of the first period when Colin Bilek found Philippe Bureau-Blais, but the defenceman’s powerful shot was stopped by Orlando goalie Jack LaFontaine. A few minutes later it was the Solar Bears’ turn to apply pressure on the opposing net, and Bennet MacArthur deflected Tyson Feist's shot to beat Lions’ netminder Philippe Desrosiers and make the score 1-0. Trois-Rivières did their best to even the score: Alex Breton was robbed by LaFontaine after he found himself alone in the slot following a Riley McKay pass, with LaFontaine making a spectacular glove save. After 20 minutes of play Orlando led 1-0.
The 3,217 fans in attendance at Colisée Vidéotron were excited to see the Lions starting the second period on all cylinders. Within a space of 83 seconds, McKay and Nicolas Guay each scored to give Trois-Rivières a 2-1 lead. McKay’s goal came off a two-on-one break and a few seconds later D-Jay Jerome dished a perfect pass to Guay whose top corner shot whistled past LaFontaine, giving the Lions the lead for the first time. Trois-Rivières goaltender Desrosiers did his part to maintain his team's lead by making an impressive stop against Mathieu Foget. But with less than four minutes to go in the period, a Solar Bear power play got them back in the game when Orlando captain Ross Olsson scored to tie the game at 2-2.
Orlando started the third period with several scoring chances. At the 8:29 mark the Solar Bears once again benefited from a power play opportunity when Hunter Fejes beat Desrosiers with a shot from the blue line to make the score 3-2. The Lions tried to even the score, but LaFontaine stood tall, refusing to relinquish a third goal. In the space of three seconds both Cédric Montminy and Bilek hit the post dead on, to the dismay of Lions fans. Ultimately, Orlando’s Tyler Bird ended any hope the Lions might have had with an empty net goal with 2:32 remaining.
The Lions have now lost five straight. The team will have to figure out a way to score with more consistency in their quest to earn a playoff spot.