A day after getting their ticket to the playoffs, the Trois-Rivières Lions ended their first season in the ECHL in style, Saturday, winning 3-2 in overtime against the Worcester Railers at the Colisée Vidéotron.
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Eric Bélanger’s men posted a 34-29-5 record this season, good for third place in the North Division. They will face the Newfoundland Growlers in the first round of the spring tournament.
In the duel of the day, the top scorer in the young history of the Trois-Rivières team, Anthony Nellis, scored two goals, including the victory in overtime. In overtime, his hard slapshot gave Ken Appleby no chance. He ended the season with 22 goals and 61 points in 67 games.
Former National Hockey League player Bobby Butler forced the Railers into overtime with less than two minutes left on the clock in the third period.
Until then, Justin Ducharme’s goal in the middle of the second period still made the difference in the score. The Lions forward skilfully got around Appleby before sliding the puck into a gaping cage.
In the first frame, Nellis had started his successful evening by deflecting a shot from the point of Bradley Johnson.
Anthony Repeci completed the scoring for the Railers, who struggled to solve the Arturs Silovs conundrum. The Latvian keeper stopped 36 pucks in the victory.
Appleby was nearly flawless in front of the Railers’ cage, conceding just three times in 40 shots.
The Massachusetts team’s season could end on Saturday night if the Maine Mariners manage to get a point in their duel against the Growlers. The Railers would thus be relegated to fifth place in the North section, leaving the Mariners to cross swords against the Reading Royals in the first round.