The midget espoir Tigers erased a 3-1 deficit to defeat their Lac St. Louis rivals, the Royals, 5-4 Sunday morning at Vincent Lecavalier Arena in Ile Bizard. Kevin St. Amour and Daniel Sprong each scored twice for the victors. The Tigers came out slow in the first period however and the Royals took advantage of it.
Francis Deschenes opened the scoring for the Royals with a superb individual effort at 2:31 of the first period. He got rid of defensive coverage before besting goalie Raffael Izzo to his right.
The Tigers responded 30 seconds later. Well positioned at the edge of the crease, Chris Theodore had all the time in the world to put the puck behind the goalie when he took a pass from Sprong at 3:01.
The Royals took advantage of a holding penalty to St. Amour to take back the lead. Victor Usakowski's shot from the point found its way past Izzo at 3:39. Steven De L'Étoile scored on a second rebound to give his team a two-goal lead with 1:10 remaining in the first period.
"We weren't really prepared to play them in the first period. We came out loosey-goosey. Between the first and second period, I just told them 'boys, there is a good team on the other side, you have to pick up your level.' We came around in the second period and we took the lead. It was a good game after that," said Tigers' head coach Daniel Drolet.
Down 3-1, the Tigers accepted their coach's challenge and came alive in the second period. Sprong started things up at 6:51 with a power-play goal assisted by Sam Dove-McFalls. While the Royals squandered a four-minute power-play opportunity, the Tigers proved to be more opportunistic.
St. Amour accepted J.D. Pogue's drop pass before burying it to tie the game with a little more than three minutes remaining in the second period. A minute later, as the Tigers were getting installed in the offensive zone, Ryan Duffy passed to St. Amour who beat goaltender Ryan Coughlin with a high slap shot.
Despite having lost the second period 3-0, the Royals weren't ready to admit defeat yet. Geoff Carriere scored with a backhand assisted by Thomas Phillips and Shawn Brewer-Jette at 6:47. Both teams exchanged quality scoring chances in the third period. Chris Chaddock was robbed by Coughlin when he chose to shoot on a two-on-one.
The Tigers broke the tie when Coughlin left his net to try and clear his zone. He came back just in time to stop Dove-McFalls' shot but not the rebound which was netted by Sprong. The Royals took two penalties in the last ten minutes effectively ruining their chances of coming back from behind.
"The guys have got to play for 60 minutes. We had our highs and lows during the game. We'll regroup, watch the game video and we'll continue," said Royals' assistant coach Marc Champagne.