Lions mount impressive comeback

François Lemieux
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Lac St. Louis surmounts 5-2 deficit in third period against St. Eustache

After having seen the St. Eustache Vikings take a 5-2 lead early in the third period, the Lac St. Louis Midget AAA Lions took control of the game in the last period of play to exit the Dollard Civic Centre with a 6-5 win thanks to a goal by Max Côté with less than two minutes to go in the game Friday night.

It was an intense finish to an intense match to say the least. At 5-5 with 2:16 to go in regulation and with the Lions pressing hard, the Vikings thought very well they had scored the go-ahead goal but the referees refused a goal to St. Eustache because a deflection of a point shot had been done above the crossbar, a decision that frustrated Vikings' supporters in assistance, but not the Vikings' head coach Dave Thériault however.

"It was a close call. Was the stick really above the crossbar? It's hard to say. The linesman seemed convinced of his decision. The official seemed convinced of his call and when that happens, I don't have a problem with it," he said.

Lac St. Louis' Max Côté scored the winning goal thirty seconds later on a pass from Andrew Rossy sending Lions' fans in frenzy.

A long comeback

The Lions had been coming back from behind ever since the last minute of the second period. St. Eustache had taken a 4-1 lead in the first two periods notably thanks to a hat trick by Benjamin Bohémier. Two of those goals were scored on the power play. The Lions' Robert Mackenzie scored his team's second goal when he tipped off Andrew Rossy's shot from the point to tighten the score at 4-2 at the very end of the second period.

The Vikings scored a third power-play goal at 2:00 of the third period however while Mackenzie was in the box for goalie interference. Marc-Antoine Laurin shot from the point and he put the puck right where he wanted it, past starting goaltender Julien Larouche who was standing too deep in his crease to make the save.

"They had their opportunities on the power play and they converted those opportunities. We, on the other hand woke up in the third period. Our shots in the last half of the game became dangerous with traffic in front and we obtained quality chances because of that," said Lions' head coach Jon Goyens.

At 5-2, Goyens wanted to shake things up as he pulled Larouche from the game, sending Alexandre Boulerice in replacement. The switch seemed to motivate the Lions as they came back from behind with three goals to tie the score at five before Côté netted the winner. First, Mackenzie took advantage of a good effort by Anthony De Luca who created turmoil in front of goaltender Jeffrey Turcotte to put a rebound behind the latter at 3:39.

The two teams exchanged good scoring opportunities in the following minutes but both goalies made tremendous saves to keep their teams in the game. Neil Robinson made 5-4 when he buried Philip Klitirinos' short pass at 10:15. The Lions renewed their desperate attacks as soon as play resumed. Defenseman Matthew Lourenço was certain he had scored the game-tying goal when his shot from the point hit the goal post with 6:33 remaining. It was finally Carl Chénier who scored the equalizing tally at 15:53 on a nice set-up from Robinson.

Organizations: Vikings, Dollard Civic Centre

Geographic location: St. Louis

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