The Lac St. Louis midget AAA Lions lost the ultimate game of their first-round playoffs series against Collège Notre-Dame 3-1 Monday night at the Dollard des Ormeaux Civic Centre and are thus eliminated from the Telus Cup playoffs.
Trailing by one goal at the end of the second period, the Lions had been able to tie the game with 22 seconds remaining but indiscipline cost them in the third period as they allowed a second power-play goal at mid-period, a tally which proved to be the winner.
“The players decided, after the second game, to make the easy decisions. We started cheating on the ice. In the two first games, we were playing so much as a team, we were blocking shots. And in the last three games, I would say we blocked only five. You’re not going to have any success in hockey if you only block five shots in three games. If you think about yourself only, you can’t be a leader or a player that is going to have success in the playoffs,” said Lions’ head coach Jon Goyens.
Collège Notre-Dame took advantage of a second first-period power play to take the lead at 8:27. Defenseman Maxime Pelletier’s shot from the point was deflected in front before it went past goaltender Nicholas Gavrielatos. Vincent Watt had the tying goal on his stick four minutes later when he broke free of coverage in the offensive zone but he failed to beat goalie Jason Rioux who made a nice pad save.
While the Lions were limited to five shots on goal in the second period, the Albatros tested Gavrielatos 15 times. The Lions goaltender made nice saves on Alexis Allard and Pelletier towards the end of the period before literally robbing left-winger Anthony Chapados with a superb glove save with less than four minutes remaining.
Vimal Sukumaran tied the game in the last minute when he completed a tic-tac-toe started by Jordan Ty Fournier and Maxime Fortier.
In the hopes of creating a spark in offence, Goyens united his best offensive elements Vincent Watt, Sukumaran and Fortier in a forward line at the beginning of the third period. This proved useless as the Albatros kept blocking shot after shot. After seven minutes of play, the Lions hadn’t taken a single shot on goal.
Watt took a costly hooking penalty at 7:41 which opened the door for the Albatros. Pelletier took another shot from the point that was deflected in front and Collège Notre-Dame had the lead again at 9:22.
The Lions desperately tried to obtain the tying goal for the rest of the period. Goyens pulled Gavrielatos with 1:20 left in regulation but this backfired as Nicolas Raymond scored an empty-netter with 40 seconds remaining.
“It was a tight game and we’ve seen that in game 4 as it was 2-2 after two periods. I am so proud of my players right now. To win three games in three nights when you’re down 0-2 shows a lot of character on our part,” said Albatros’ head coach Martin Ouellet.