The Lakeshore bantam AAA Panthers obtained a hard-fought 5-3 win against the Laval Rousseau Patriotes Saturday evening at Kirkland Arena after having defeated them 9-1 in Laval the day before.
Coming back from behind twice including a first-period 2-0 deficit, the Panthers showed true grit notably in the second period when they killed off a 2:16 two-man Laval power play.
“We showed a lot of character in coming back. The other team came out strong and they had quite a few opportunities on the power play but at the end of the day, we sacrificed: we blocked a lot of shots. Our goalie played stellar in the second period,” said Panthers’ head coach Claude Francis.
The Panthers controlled the early part of the game blocking the Patriotes’ breakouts effectively and fore-checking intensely. Laval nonetheless took the lead when captain Alexander Katerinakis put the puck in the top shelf shortly after having won a faceoff in the offensive zone.
Laval augmented its lead when Jonathan Porreca took advantage of a turnover created by a Lakeshore defenseman during a Panthers’ power play. He went on a breakaway to beat the Lakeshore goaltender.
The Panthers were more opportunists on the power play towards the end of the first period. After a shot from the point hit one of his teammate up front, Coleton Cianci was at the right spot to get a hold of the loose puck and put it past goalie William Lamontagne with 4:45 remaining in the first.
A little more than a minute later, Nicolas Guillot took a perfect wrister from the faceoff circle to tie the score at two.
- The Lakeshore bantam AA Panthers defeated the Laval Rousseau Sénateurs 5-3 at Kirkland Arena Saturday evening. Photo by Rob Amyot." />
Lakeshore started the second period as they had in the first. On a rapid rush, Arnaud Durandeau made a great drop pass to Lazier who couldn’t beat Lamontagne however. Laval’s defensemen had to block many shots to keep their team in the game in the early second period. Laval obtained a serious opportunity when the Panthers took two near-simultaneous four-minute penalties giving the Sénateurs a 3:18 five-on-three power play.
Laval obtained two quality shots on goal and the Panthers blocked four more before the Patriotes’ Alexandre Jovin and later Gabriel Meunier took penalties of their own, ending the two-man advantage.
The Patriotes’ Olivier Ducharme went five-hole on an odd-man rush to give his team the 3-2 lead with 2:06 remaining in the period.
Unfazed, the Panthers came back with two goals before the end of the second period. First, defenseman Frankie Filato scored with a shot from the point that seemed harmless at first with a minute to go.
Thirty seconds later, Mathieu Khazaka got a hold of a loose puck in front and put it top shelf to propel the Panthers two goals ahead. Lakeshore would add another goal on the power play early in the third and the game would end 5-3.
“The team played well after yesterday’s game. We came out more aggressive. We respected the game plan. They played for the jersey, they didn’t play for the name behind the jersey. The guys were emotional but we could have done without those after-the-whistle scrimmages,” said Panthers assistant coach Deno Liberatore.