Skip to content

Lions’ winning streak ends at four games

The Lions were out to extend their winning streak to five games in their Saturday night encounter with the Maine Mariners. Part and parcel, Trois-Rivières was also looking to sweep the two-game series.

The Lions started out strong with several quality scoring opportunities early in the game. Nicolas Guay adeptly deflected a Jason Horvath shot, but the puck hugged the goal line without crossing it. Seconds later, Connor Welsh executed an excellent breakout before passing to William Leblanc in the slot, but Maine goaltender Michael DiPietro made a pad save to keep the game scoreless. The Lions continued to be the more dangerous of the two teams as Guay and James Phelan had a two-on-one break. Guay delivered a perfect pass to Phelan, but once again DiPietro made a quality save to negate putting Trois-Rivières on the scoresheet. Those missed opportunities ended up haunting Lions’ head coach Marc-André Bergeron when Maine’s Tim Doherty finished-off a play begun by Reid Stefanson and Jacob Wilson to give Maine a 1-0 lead. The Lions’ attempts to equal the score were thwarted when Philippe Bureau-Blais and Chrystopher Collin each hit the post on the power play.

At the start of the second period, the Lions’ Colin Bilek found himself all alone in front of DiPietro, and the Trois-Rivières forward didn't waste the opportunity: His top-shelf shot was his eighth goal of the season. Maine wasted no time to regain the lead: Matthew Santos took advantage of Lions’ goaltender Philippe Desrosiers’ generosity to make the score 2-1 for the Mariners. However, the goalkeeper quickly made amends by making a save that will certainly be a candidate for the ECHL’s save of the year. Positioned in the slot, Santos was looking at a wide-open net, but Desrosiers scrambled back just in time to make an incredible stick save. Unfortunately, just a few minutes later Maine’s Curtis Hall scored on the power play to give the Mariners a two-goal

lead. The Lions tried to get back in the game in the third period, but the Mariners limited the visitors' scoring chances. The Lions’ Cédric Montminy had two excellent scoring opportunities, but DiPietro made two sensational saves to maintain his team’s two-goal lead. With just over two minutes left in the game, head coach Bergeron pulled Desrosiers in favour of a sixth attacker. The strategy worked when Pierrick Dubé notched his ninth goal of the season. However, Maine’s Stefanson scored an insurance goal into an empty net, giving Maine a 4-2 victory.

The Lions depart Portland with one win from two games, and their winning streak ends at four. Trois-Rivières returns to Colisée Vidéotron to play three games before the holidays.