But River King killer Francis Charette spoiled the party, scoring two goals to lead the defending champion Jonquière Marquis to a 5-2 victory on Saturday night at the Civic Complex. Former River Kings goaltender Fred Piché earned the win in goal for the Marquis.
From a laser show to start the night, to a trumpeter in the stands, to live acoustic music during intermission, 2,453 fans were treated to an entertaining evening from start to finish.
Jonquière opened the scoring at 8:56 of the first period on a powerplay goal by Hugo Carpentier. Then, Alex Bourret took off on a shorthanded breakaway and ignited the crowd with a nifty deke on Piché to even the score a few minutes later.
Francis Lessard put the River Kings up 2-1 at 4:55 of the second period when he banged a rebound into an open net for a powerplay marker. But, Charette evened the score moments later when he squeaked one past Loic Lacasse.
Bruno St. Jacques scored on a rocket from the point with two seconds left in the second period to give Jonquière a 3-2 lead heading into the dressing room. The back-breaking powerplay marker beat Lacasse top shelf.
In the third, Charette spun and fired a shot past Lacasse at 6:10 to open up a two-goal lead and with 87 seconds to play, Marco Charpentier iced it for the Marquis with an empty netter. Simon Laliberté chipped in three helpers for Jonquière, which outshot Cornwall 30-27.
Charette (first), Bourret (second) and Piché (third) were the announced stars.
The River Kings (1-2-1) next home game is Sunday, Nov. 3 when Sorel-Tracy visits the Ed Lumley Arena. (3 p.m. start).
HEARTBREAKER IN SAINT-GEORGES
On Friday night in Saint-Georges, Samuel Grenache scored with four seconds left in regulation as the Kings were dealt a heartbreaking 5-4 loss.
Cornwall trailed 4-2 in the contest but battled back on third-period markers by Doug Andress and Nicolas Corbeil. Ryan Jardine scored twice for the River Kings.
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