Positive Pre-Season Performance For The Saint Lawrence Lions

With the training camp evaluation, team selection and hard-paced practices making headway for the Lions first regular season home game, Coach Mike Labadie says he is satisfied with the team's attitude and readiness to work each day. The Lions are in their early stages of team building and hockey orientation. Players have been tested by a competitive pre-season exhibition schedule.

Labadie has praised the goaltending of both Cedrick Lafrance, last years most valuable player, and rookie Thierry Tremblay for keeping games close in every outing.

Labadie is counting on veteran defensemen Francois Fortin and Laurent Dumont, as well as newcomer Simon Auger. Forwards Jean Philipe Sansfacon, Gulllaume Kelhetter, and Dominique Lampron bring a touch of speed and skill to the offense on a team featuring nine 17-year-old players.

The Lions exhibition schedule brought them to the Boston area where they tallied two wins and one loss, defeating the Penn Panthers, 5-1, and the home team, Walpole Express, 3-1. The Lions completed that tournament with a 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

The tournament offered a showcase for two rookies, Auger and Dominique Lampron, trying to draw the attention of scouts from from Sacred Heart University, who were in attendance.

Last weekend, Saint Lawrence traveled to Burlington, Vermont for a four game tournament against Eastern Junior Hockey League rivals from the northeastern states. This tournament offered a caliber comparable to Quebec Junior AAA hockey and has provided past success in placing future Division I and III scholarships.

Opponents like these bring exposure to the players, and increasing their chances of being recruited to next level opportunities in both the United States and Canada.

The Lions faced the Bay State Breakers at Gutterson arena, home of the University of Vermont Division I hockey team. Lafrance kept the Lions close in the first half of the game while the Breakers were being outshot 10-2. Mathieu Harvey scored at the halfway mark of the final period, allowing the Lions to tie the game 1-1.

Early Saturday morning, the Lions faced their toughest opponent, the Syracuse Stars, suffering a 3-0 loss against a team that dressed a much more experienced roster.

The Stars' skill level proved difficult to match, but St. Lawrence played a disciplined game that provided a positive element in preparing the team for a follow up 4-2 victory against the New York Apple Core. Against New York, the Lions got goals from Francois Fortin, Jean Philippe Sansfacon, Vincent Jodoin and Vincent Boivin.

In the final game of the Woodchuck tournament, the Lions faced the home team, the Green Mountain Glades. The Lions experienced a valuable lesson in athletics.

St. Lawrence erased a two-goal deficit late in the game to force a shoot out, Jean Philipe Sansfacon's hat trick carrying the Lions to a 3-3 tie after regulation play. During the shootout, Dominique Lampron scored what proved to be the game winning goal, while Tremblay stopped all three for three Green Mountain Glades shooters.

The team opens the season against Three Rivers next Saturday at Sainte Foy Arena at 7:30 p.m.