The Lakeshore bantam AAA found out that playing catch-up hockey can only work for you so many times Wednesday night at Kirkland Arena when they lost 6-4 to the Laval Rousseau Sénateurs.
The Sénateurs took the lead three times in the two first periods only to have the Panthers come back with a goal shortly after. When Laval took the lead again in the third period, Lakeshore wasn't able to tie the game again and lost.
"My guys lost their legs in the third period. Fatigue hurt us bad. We gave up. We should have been more aggressive in their zone and we weren’t at all. We played on our heels," said Panthers head coach Claude Francis.
While both teams played well in the opening minutes of the game, the Panthers lacked execution and a couple of offensive opportunities failed to translate into scoring chances.
Laval opened the score when Vincent Lapalme served a great cross-ice pass to Christopher Jandric who beat goaltender Nicholas Fry with a quick shot to his left at 4:46. Lakeshore replied rapidly. Alex Lazier was well positioned in front of the net when he got a hold of a loose puck and pushed it five-hole less than a minute later.
Indiscipline cost the Panthers a goal after Steven Serafini was penalized for interference later in the period. Marc-Antoine Turcotte and Guillaume St. Pierre set up Peter Abbandonato for the goal in a complex play that thoroughly confused Fry at 9:11.
Less than a minute later, the Panthers came back from behind again as defenseman Tyler Higgins’ shot was expertly redirected by Matthew Pietroniro to tie the game at two.
The Panthers took the lead for the first and only time of the game at 11:59 as Tommy Tanner took Jake Navarra’s rebound to put his team ahead by one.
- The Lakeshore bantam AAA Panthers were bested 6-4 last Wednesday night at Kirkland Arena by the Laval Rousseau Sénateurs. Photo by Rob Amyot." />
The Sénateurs would take advantage of a turnover to bring everybody back to square zero before the end of the first period when Abbandonato’s cross-ice pass allowed Yannick Ethier to score with 1:05 left on the scoreboard.
Lakeshore played with fire during the second period as Pietroniro and Cianci Coleton were penalized simultaneously at 5:51 for roughing and head contact respectively. The Panthers killed off the penalties but only nine seconds after the two-man power play ended, Laval’s Nicolas Deschenes scored assisted by Edigio Porreca.
Less than three minutes before the period’s end, the Panthers’ Tommy Connors accepted Arnaud Durandeau’s pass from behind the net before he beat backup goalie David Allaire who had replaced starter Edith D’Astous Moreau by then.
Abbandonato gave his team a late-game lead when he scored with a perfect slapshot from the aisle with 5:38 remaining in the third period. This time, Lakeshore wasn’t able to tie things up. The Sénateurs’ William Clark even scored on a rebound less than a minute later to confirm the win for Laval.
Laval head coach Roberto Lamas told The Chronicle what allowed his team to shut down the Panthers in the third period.
“They were coming into our zone really fast, putting a lot of pressure on us. So we tried to slow them down in the neutral zone and that allowed us to counter-strike effectively in return,” he said.