Midget Espoir Royals tie Abitibi Flion 3-3

François Lemieux
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Lac St. Louis remains league’s second seed with tie

The Lac St. Louis Midget Espoir Royals tied the Abitibi Filon 3-3 Saturday afternoon at Dorval Arena. It was the third meeting between the two teams this season and Lac St. Louis had won the two previous encounters 3-1 and 4-3.

The Royals started the game on their heels scoring at 2:05 thanks to a goal by William Spinney. The first period remained scoreless otherwise. The Filon waited for the beginning of the second period to respond. Charles-Étienne Bruneau got a breakaway and although his shot was stopped, Christopher Charchuk was there to bang the rebound home at 1:40.

Both teams exchanged scoring opportunities during the first half of the second period. Spinney obtained a quality scoring chance when he cut across the slot and shot low to try and surprise goaltender Marc-Olivier Landry. The latter made a nice pad save at 2:42.

The Filon’s Xavier Couture also obtained a good scoring chance two minutes later. Goaltender Joseph Picard made an excellent glove save to prevent Abitibi from taking the lead. Well positioned again, Charchuk scored on a rebound at 11:40 to put his team ahead by one.

Less than a minute later, the Royals replied when Corey Lapalucci converted Stravros Siolis’ perfect pass on the power play to tie the game at two.

The Royals would score again on the power play before the end of the period. Zach Tsekos came in the offensive zone he deked a defenseman to the right before passing left to Evan Stamegna who scored on the one-timer with 4:01 left in the period. The Filon’s Étienne Bouchard was penalized for head contact with 3:37 to go in the period, a four-minute penalty.

The Royals obtained over five shots on the one-man advantage but it was the Filon which obtained the best scoring chance. Alexis Roy had the equalizing goal on his stick as he stood in the slot with 12 seconds remaining. He saw an opening in the top of the net but Joseph Picard was onto him and made the glove save.

The third period, as the second, was filled with penalties for both sides. It was during a penalty to the Royals’ Simon Huneault that the Filon’s Philippe Rioux scored the tying goal on a rapid rush to the net. The goal was scored with 7:58 left in the period. The game ended at 3-3.

Filon’s head coach Gérald Macdonald thought intensity played a vital role in the game result Saturday.

“The last time we played here they were very intense. We had asked our players to be intense today to have a chance at winning. We were undisciplined in the second period but so were they in the third period. All in all, it’s a good effort, we had only eight forwards. I love the way our players played in the third, we were more disciplined and intense,” he said.

Visibly frustrated at his players during the game for their lack of discipline, Royals’ head coach Jim Webster thought his players will have to avoid the penalty box to win the upcoming provincial championships.

“I told my players that we have to be more disciplined like robots if we want to win the provincials. Otherwise, we had two bad goals-against and we have to remember that they are the third-place team; they’re a very good team. They played hard and hit us hard, it was easy to get frustrated. I thought we did a lot of really good things so I can’t be all the way mad at my team,” he said.

Geographic location: Lac St. Louis, Abitibi

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