LIONS REMAIN UNDEFEATED WITH SHUTOUT WIN OVER CONTACTS
QUISPAMSIS, N.B. – Mathias Laferriere had a goal and two assists to back a 23-save performance by Yaniv Perets, and the Lions du Lac St-Louis beat the Saskatoon Contacts 4-0 on Tuesday afternoon to stay perfect at the 2016 TELUS Cup.
One day after racking up 41 shots in a win over Lloydminster, the Lions registered 52 against the Contacts, keeping Saskatoon goaltender Isaac LaBelle – who was sensational – busy.
Lac St-Louis is just the second Quebec Region champion since 2005 to open with consecutive wins at Canada’s National Midget Championship, joining Collège Esther-Blondin in 2012.
Saskatoon, which was blanked by the North York Rangers in its tournament opener on Monday, became the first team since the Kentville Wildcats in 1977 to be shut out in each of its first two games.
Lions captain Adam Capannelli got the scoring started on the power play 12:03 into the first period, blowing past a Contacts defenceman before cutting to the net and tucking the puck around LaBelle.
That would be it for scoring through a physical opening 40 minutes, despite four power-play opportunities for the Lions – and 36 shots – and a pair of man-advantage chances for the Contacts.
Lac St-Louis doubled its lead just past the midway mark of the third period when Matthew Pietroniro picked up a loose puck in the crease and squeezed a backhand under the blocker of LaBelle.
Two goals in 11 seconds finished the scoring; Capannelli found Azzaro Tinling in the slot at 13:17 with the Lions enjoying a five-on-three power play, and Laferriere made it a 4-0 game just moments later.
Seeing his first full-game action since a regular season tilt on Feb. 19, Perets wasn’t seriously tested, but did what he had to do to record his first shutout of the season.
The Lions can potentially clinch a semifinal spot with a win over the Dartmouth Major Midgets on Wednesday afternoon (noon AT), while the Contacts once again go in search of their first win, taking on the Lloydminster Bobcats (4 p.m. AT).