ECHL Recap: Physical weekend in Trois-Rivières


This weekend the Lions received a rare visit from a southern team, the Florida Everblades. A team looking to increase its lead and become closer to locking a playoff spot. It was the first ever meeting between the two teams.



Let’s start with Friday’s game. The Everblades were ready to play the game. They imposed themselves physically from the first minutes of the game. This pressure applied by the visiting team ended up paying off, as Florida was the first to score, thanks to a goal by Blake Winiecki. The Lions were quick to respond and start the machine. The first goal for the local team comes at 6:45, thanks to captain Cédrick Montminy. Before the end of the first period, the Lions added two goals to leave for the locker room with a 3-1 lead.

The Lions seemed to have stayed in the locker room to start the second period. Indeed, the Everblades closed the gap after just 16 seconds. Less than four minutes later, they brought the two teams back to the starting point. The two teams then exchanged a goal to return to the locker room tied at 4-4.

The rest of the game was up to the Everblades. The Florida team took control of the third period. They scored three goals, including one in an empty net, against only one for the Trifluvienne team.

My three stars for this game are Francis Marotte, who faced 46 shots. The latter had one of their best starts of the season. My second star goes to the newcomer to the Lions, William Lemay, who made himself appreciated by his new supporters with a performance of one goal and two assists. The last star of the game goes to Blake Winiecki of the Eveblades for his big performance of 3 goals. He was the centerpiece of his team in this victory.



In Saturday’s game, the Everblades picked up where they left off the night before. They started, from the beginning, to bombard the Lions goalkeeper, Joe Vrbetic, who stands like a wall in front of this charge. The Lions’ first shot of the game came on the team’s first power play with 9:52 to go. Thanks to a fit, Joe Vrbetic, the Lions, and Everblades returned to the locker room with a score of 0-0. The best scoring chance during this period still goes to the Florida team on a shorthanded opportunity.

The first five minutes of the second period were uneventful. Then, suddenly, Joe Vrbetic made two spectacular saves. These maneuvers seemed to wake up the two teams, who suddenly opened the game and created scoring chances. As the game opened up, Lions captain Cédrick Montminy woke up the crowd with a nice deflection that found its way behind goalkeeper Cam Johnson. Referees also found their whistles giving two-man powerplays to both teams.

The Lions, having doubled their lead at the start of the third period, suddenly decided to tighten up the game and play more defensively in order to help their goalkeeper, who was having the best game of his young professional career. However, it is not a style of play that normally smiles at Marc-André Bergeron’s squad, and we have seen proof of it again. Just before mid-period, Andrew Fyten brought his team back within a goal by finally beating Vrbetic. The Lions goalkeeper, however, kept the door closed for the rest of the game, and the Lions escaped with a big 2-1 win over the Florida Everblades.

Up next for the Lions is a three games series against Norfolk Admirals starting this Wednesday! See you at Colisée Vidéotron

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