ECHL: Lions narrowly avoid elimination

ECHL: Lions narrowly avoid elimination


The Trois-Rivières Lions absolutely had to win their Wednesday night game against the Worcester Railers to stay in the ECHL playoff race, and it was in the final minutes that they pulled off a 5-4 overtime win at DCU Center.

The task will not be easy for the school club of the Montreal Canadiens in its last eight meetings, but it remains mathematically in the race. In the standings, Marc-André Bergeron's men climbed to 53 points, while the Railers, holders of the fourth and last rank giving access to the spring ball in the North section, rose to 68 points.

Ryan Francis played the heroes by beating Henrik Tikkanen with a shot that only partially stopped the goalkeeper. The former Calgary Flames prospect now has 18 points in the last 12 games.

The Lions even thought they could win this game in regulation, but Bobby Butler created the tied with just five seconds to go. Four minutes earlier, Nicolas Guay had put the visitors in front.

A few moments before this, Anthony Beauregard had won his battle in front of the net to score his 23rd goal of the season. This is a new record in the young history of the Lions, the mark to beat having been established last year by Anthony Nellis.

Guay and Matthew Barron were the scorers for Trois-Rivières in the first period.

It's the first loss for the Railers this season in 24 games after leading before the third period. They came up against goaltender Étienne Montpetit, who made a very good performance with 32 saves.

The Lions will remain on the road for a series of three games in as many days against the Reading Royals, from Friday.