By Steven Smeall
CORNWALL, Ontario - While the Colts may have disappointed in their first round, the Cornwall River Kings of the Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey (LNAH) are hoping to give Cornwall hockey fans something to cheer about.
© Allison Papineau
Cornwall River Kings.
Cornwall finished their regular season last Saturday when they defeated the Thetford Mines by a score of 3-2.
Their 14 wins through 40 games was enough to get them seventh place in the league, setting up a clash in the playoffs with the reigning champions, the Jonquière Marquis. Game one of the best-of-seven series takes place Friday evening in Jonquière at 8 p.m.
Of the five times that these two teams played during the regular season, Cornwall was only able to get away with one victory.
For Cornwall to take control of this series they’re not only going to have to make sure that their offense is the best it has been, but they’ll also have to shut down the Marquis somehow.
One of Cornwall’s regular season strategies definitely was intimidation. Chris Cloutier, who didn’t have a single point through 38 regular season games with the River Kings, put up 277 penalty minutes and 32 fighting major penalties. It’s clear what kind of role he'll be playing this series.
The River Kings also have the services of Francis Lessard, who has 197 penalty minutes with nine points through 31 games. Lessard may not be there for the River Kings in game one though as he deals with an injury.
Other than intimidation, the River Kings will also be looking to leading scorer Nicolas Corbeil to keep up the 1.3 point-per-game pace he set during the season. Cornwall goaltender Loic Lacasse will also have to be strong in net.
We’ll get the first hint at how the series will play out when the two teams take the ice Friday.
The series will come to Cornwall Saturday for game two which starts at 7:30 p.m. before both teams take a break until next weekend.