CORNWALL – Pete Karvouniaris backstopped the Cornwall River Kings to a 3-0 victory over the St-Georges Cool FM on Friday night at the Civic Complex in front of 1,341 fans.
Karvouniaris earned the shutout with a 31-save performance in his home ice debut for Cornwall, which snapped a losing streak with two powerplay goals and its best home-ice performance of the season. The River Kings outshot the Cool FM 45-31.
After a scoreless first period, Cornwall went on the attack in the second, outshooting St-Georges 21-10 in the middle frame. Julien Corriveau finally broke the ice with a powerplay goal with 78 seconds to play in the period.
Michael Tessier found Corriveau at the side of the Cool FM net and from a difficult angle Corriveau hoisted a wrist shot over Hubert Morin’s glove.
Sasha Pokulok gave the River Kings a 2-0 lead with a gorgeous goal 1:43 into the third. With Cornwall on the powerplay, Pokulok patiently outwaited a Cool FM defender, walked into the slot and perfectly placed a hard wrist shot in the top corner.
Nik Pokulok iced the victory with an empty netter for the River Kings with 1:13 to play.
Karvouniaris, the former Cornwall Colts goaltender, was the star of the show however, picking up first-star honours. The 24-year-old goaltender from Laval won 40 games for the Colts during the 2010-11 season.
Captain Steve Simoes, looking to spark the Kings, dropped the mitts with Mario Boilard late in the first period. Kings defenceman Ryan Sullivan also had a spirited bout with Nicolas Larocque-Marcoux early in the second period.
Francis Lessard put an exclamation mark on the win, when he dropped Samuel Duplain in the final minute of the contest.
Karvouniaris (first), Sasha Pokulok (second) and Corriveau were the announced stars.
The River Kings are back in action on Saturday night, when Trois-Rivieres pays a visit to the Civic Complex. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
Photo by Jason Setnyk.