Cornwall Ontario – Rookie forward Antony Courcelles scored a pair of goals to lead the River Kings to a 5-3 victory over the Laval Predateurs on Saturday night at the Civic Complex in front of 1,469 fans.
Courcelles, the game’s first star, leads all Cornwall skaters with 14 goals in 24 games.
River Kings power forward Francis Lessard, back in the lineup after sitting out several games with upper-body injury, made an impact in the first period. Lessard’s blast from the hashmarks beat Laval goaltender Mathieu Corbeil at 12:05. Two seconds later, Lessard dropped the gloves and took care of Predateurs enforcer David Lacroix.
It was a wide-open second period with six goals.
Derek Famulare connected on a perfect feed from Andre Sandrzyk at 3:46 and Courcelles gave the River Kings a 3-0 lead at 5:59.
Nicolas D’Aoust took advantage of a bad bounce behind River Kings goaltender Loic Lacasse to get the Predateurs on the board at 9:17. But Courcelles responded with his second of the night 91 seconds later, when he bounced the puck off a Laval defender’s leg and past Corbeil.
David Masse (15:48) and Mathieu Brunelle (19:52) scored late second-period goals to cut the River Kings lead to 4-3.
Pierre-Luc Faubert gave Cornwall a two-goal lead with a shorthanded marker at 5:28 of the third. Faubert, who took advantage of a turnover caused by captain Steve Simoes, walked in and beat Corbeil with a perfectly placed wrist shot right under the crossbar.
Julien Corriveau also returned to the Cornwall lineup and picked up a pair of assists. Marc-Olivier Phaneuf made his River Kings debut on Saturday night. The 21-year-old picked up an assist on Lessard’s goal.
Corriveau (second) and Famulare (third) were the other stars. Cornwall outshot Laval 30-24.
The River Kings are back in action on Sunday afternoon at Saint-Georges (2 p.m.). Cornwall has a pair of home games next weekend: Saturday, Jan. 3 vs. Thetford-Mines (7:30 p.m.) and Sunday, Jan. 4 vs. Jonquiere (2 p.m.).