LAFERRIERE SCORES AGAIN, LIONS CLINCH FIRST PLACE IN PRELIMS
QUISPAMSIS, N.B. – Mathias Laferriere scored the game-winner with 1:44 to go – his fifth goal in four games, and second winner – to help the Lions du Lac St-Louis top the North York Rangers on Thursday afternoon to remain the only undefeated team at the 2016 TELUS Cup.
The win clinches first place in the preliminary round for the Lions, who are 4-0 at Canada’s National Midget Championship, they also opened with four consecutive wins in 1977, 1984 and 1991.
North York finally slowed down a Lac St-Louis offence that had hit the 40-shot mark in each of its first three games, holding the Lions to 24, but the Rangers couldn’t find the back of the net themselves.
Laferriere and Alexandre Gagnon led Lac St-Louis with a goal and an assist each, Isiah Campbell had the other goal for the Quebec Region champions, and goaltender Sandro Silvestre got the 23-save win.
William Calverley was the lone goal-scorer for North York.
For the fourth time in as many games the Lions got on the board first; a perfect cross-ice feed from Kyle Havlena found the stick of Gagnon, who had an empty net to make it 1-0 just 6:09 in.
Silvestre and North York counterpart Kyle Henderson kept it a one-goal game for the next 48 minutes, combining to make 34 saves in the first two periods.
Lac St-Louis seemed to be on track for the victory, limiting the Rangers to just five shots on goal in the third period, and none in the first 12 minutes of the final frame.
But Calverley finally pulled North York even at 14:02, finishing off a beautiful give-and-go with Noah Holm by going just under the crossbar past Sylvester.
Laferriere clinched the full two points for the Lions four minutes after that, one-timing a saucer pass from Gagnon out of the reach of Henderson, and Campbell found the empty net with 49 seconds to go.
North York finishes the preliminary round Friday morning, taking on the Lloydminster Bobcats in a showdown for second place (9:30 a.m. AT), while the Lions take on the host Saint John Vito’s in the round-robin finale (4:30 p.m. AT).