Lions in the playoffs!

François Lemieux
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Lac St. Louis defeats Jonquière to grab midget AAA league 11th seed

The Lac St. Louis midget AAA Lions clinched the last playoff spot available in the Midget AAA hockey league with a 5-2 win over the Jonquière Élites Saturday night at the Dollard des Ormeaux civic centre.

It was do or die for the Lac St. Louis Lions Saturday night as they faced the Jonquière Élites in their last regular season game with the last Quebec midget AAA hockey league playoff spot at stake. The Lions needed to obtain at least one point to pursue their 2013-2014 season and they did not disappoint, getting by the Élites by a score of 5-2.

With the win, they climbed up to the 11th rank in the league and will play Laval-Montréal’s Rousseau-Royal in the first round of the playoffs starting Feb. 12.

“The theme of tonight’s game was really to not let the three first months (of the season) determine the end of the season. We really wanted our efforts tonight determine what kind of team we were going to be. Because of that, we really had more enthusiasm and we were more excited to play,” said Lions head coach Jon Goyens.

Intense start for the Lions

The Lions started out hungry in the first period. They put the pedal to the metal and it showed as they obtained quality chances in the offensive zone. This didn’t translate into many shots on goal in the first minutes but the pace was set.

Left winger Trevor Lorber caused a turnover in the offensive zone at the seventh minute and rapidly made his way towards the net. He attempted a pass towards the slot and the puck was unintentionally deflected by a Jonquière defenseman. It found its way past starting goaltender Samuel Harvey.

Less than three minutes later, Maxime Fortier’s shot made its way past Harvey but the puck stopped on the red line. Jordan Ty Fournier who was marauding nearby pushed the puck into the net to put the Lions ahead by two at 9:54.

The theme of tonight’s game was really to not let the three first months (of the season) determine the end of the season. We really wanted our efforts tonight determine what kind of team we were going to be. Because of that, we really had more enthusiasm and we were more excited to play Lac St. Louis Lions head coach Jon Goyens

Maxime Fortier gave Lac St. Louis a three-goal cushion with a perfect wrist shot that went top net at 18:35 of the first period. It was Fortier’s 40th goal of the season.

Second period

The Lions continued their domination in the second period. Paul Gionis, with a great individual effort, put the Lions ahead by four goals at 6:23.

While the offence was enjoying quite a bit of success, the Lions defence kept things tight in the defensive zone. Michael Campoli and Taylor Ford’s play was solid while goalie Nicholas Gavrielatos made key saves when tested.

Third period

The Élites scored two goals in the first part of the third period, the second one on a five-on-three power play at 7:46. But that’s as close as Jonquière would get to making a comeback.

Gionis would make the score 5-2 with a tally at 12:31 on a nice pass from Fortier and the game ended at 5-2.

“We could have started out a bit better. It’s certain that we played an important game yesterday and a lot of emotion was spent in that game. But we could have came out a bit stronger in the first period. We came out a bit flat. They went ahead and scored two goals which caused our level of energy and rhythm to fall. We did come back in the third period. The guys worked hard until the end. But we could have done a little better,” said Jonquière assistant coach Pierre-Luc Laprise.

Geographic location: Lac St. Louis, Quebec

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