Cornwall Ontario – Maxime Gravel scored the shootout winner as the Trois-Rivières Vikings came from behind to beat the River Kings 3-2 on Saturday night at the Civic Complex.
Pierre-Olivier Beaulieu connected first for the Vikings in the shootout and Nicolas Corbeil responded for the River Kings. After Gravel netted the go-ahead goal, it all came down to Sasha Pokulok, who couldn’t beat Marco Cousineau.
Loic Lacasse made 32 saves in regulation and overtime for the River Kings in front of an announced crowd of 861.
Etienne Archambault tipped home a shot from the point with 93 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime and eventually a shootout.
Corbeil, coming off first-star honours in the LNAH last week, continued his hot streak as he opened the scoring at 3:33 of the second, beating Cousineau five-hole.
Dominic Chiasson gave the River Kings a 2-0 lead at 7:49 of the second with an unassisted effort.
Kevin Asselin scored a power-play marker for the Vikings at 9:20 of the middle frame, beating Lacasse through the legs.
Trois-Rivières outshot Cornwall 34-26 overall. The announced stars were Chiasson (first), Lacasse (second) and Cousineau (third).
POOR START COSTS KINGS
On Friday night in Trois-Rivières, the River Kings fell 6-4 to the Vikings. It was another poor start for Cornwall, which spotted the Vikings a 5-1 lead.
The River Kings fought back all night, closing the gap to 5-4 before Trois-Rivières iced it with an empty-netter with 47 seconds left in the contest.
Corbeil led the River Kings with two goals and an assist. Pierre-Luc Faubert and Nicolas Sigouin also scored for Cornwall. Pokulok, in his 2013-14 debut, chipped in two assists for the Kings.
Cornwall is back in action next Friday night in Valleyfield (8 p.m.). The River Kings host Thetford-Mines next Saturday night at the Civic Complex (7:30 p.m.).
The River Kings have pulled the trigger on a five-player trade with the Valleyfield Braves.
Cornwall has acquired rugged defencemen Dominic D’Amour and Mario Larocque in exchange for Olivier Filion, Patrick Lapostolle and Danick Paquette.
The 29-year-old D’Amour will add more size and grit to the River Kings blueline. The 6-foot-3 and 220 lb. D’Amour was a third-round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2002. He skated in 16 contests for the Jonquière Marquis last season, scoring 1 goal and 4 assists. He also chipped in 15 penalty minutes.
Larocque, 35, suited up for the Arizona Sundogs of the CHL last season. In 49 games, he had 7 goals, 15 assists and 118 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-4, 220 lb. native of Montreal was selected 16th overall at the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.
In eight games with the River Kings this season, Filion had four assists. He was acquired in the off-season from Trois-Rivières. Lapostolle appeared in two games for Cornwall this season.
Paquette is currently skating for the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL.
The River Kings’ top defenceman from their inaugural season is back with the club.
The smooth-skating Sasha Pokulok, who had 14 goals and 30 assists in 40 games with the team in 2012-13, has chosen to come back to Cornwall, coming to terms with the River Kings today.
Pokulok was a first round draft pick of the Washington Capitals in 2005.
Last season, Pokulok tied for the team lead in points with 44. The 6-foot-5 blueliner is expected to be in the lineup this weekend, as Cornwall takes on Trois-Rivieres in a home-and-home series.