River Kings fall to Braves after much hyped rematch fails to live up to expectations

Couple of Homers. (Photo: Rick Bowen.)
Couple of Homers. (Photo: Rick Bowen.)

Well, Homer got his way.

It was a Simpsons themed night at the Civic Complex complete with “D’oh!” and even Homer Simpson himself made an appearance. In case you weren’t up to speed, the Simpsons shtick was due to Laval Braves headman Dannick Lessard calling the Cornwall River Kings a bunch of a “homers” in a recent interview.

Running with it, the fans and even the Kings brass decided to throw it into the much talked about and hyped up re-match between the two teams Saturday night. Two weeks ago, the two teams met for almost 10 fights, an 8-2 Cornwall victory and Lessard himself getting suspended 4 games for trying to start something with Cornwall’s coach.

However, the match failed to deliver to expectations.

Cornwall was terrible in their own end. On powerplays, there was nobody in front of the net more times then I’d like to admit. Loic Lacasse was brilliant as usual as the game probably could’ve ended up in the double digits for Laval. Laval played a speedy, grinding game to come away with their 6-5 victory.

(Photo: Rick Bowen)
(Photo: Rick Bowen)

It’s the LNAH so people are in the stands for the fights. After a huge fight filled contest in Laval, the fans were expecting something similar. With only 3 fights on the card, and subdued ones to say the least, it wasn’t worthy of an LNAH caliber game. However, that might not have been the River Kings fault as most of the tough guys on Laval didn’t seem like they were ready to drop the gloves.

Some points I’d like to make. Cornwall was down in the score by 3 and the atmosphere was well, not very electric. Captain Steve Simoes must have realized that the momentum needed to change so he took it upon himself to up the ante. After drilling three guys and dropping the mitts with a damn good tangle, the momentum was finally in Cornwall’s favour. 2 or 3 goals (goals were scored but I’m flaky on how many) were scored while Simoes was in the box and it seemed like Cornwall had a life.

Until knucklehead Francis Lessard takes a double minor.

That my friends was Laval’s turning point. Now don’t me wrong, I like Lessard as much as the next person. AS A FIGHTER. Even though he landed on the scoresheet tonight, a 40 second shift of circling around In the offensive end doesn’t sit as great hockey presence but I digress.

On Laval’s side though and after finally getting to see them in person, it boggles my mind how this team is in last place! Does it have something to do with them having half of our roster now? No, I don’t think so. The goaltending of Stephane Cesar was brilliant to say the least and the hockey presence and mind of Maxime Boisclair was just amazing. Boisclair is a smart, smart hockey player. If Cornwall ever has a chance to trade for him, I’d pull the trigger in a second.

(photo: Allison Papineau)
(photo: Allison Papineau)

I know this a relatively long post but I had to be critical this time and if you don’t agree with me then so be it. I know it’s hard to gel as a team when you have very little practice time. That being said, the powerplay needs a complete overhaul. In fact, I overheard in the crowd that if Cornwall were to get another powerplay, they should just decline it.

It’s not all doom and gloom. There’s still plenty of hockey left so no need to get on the worry bandwagon right now. Plenty of life to put into this team and keep the Complex rocking. I hope to god that the next home game the same amount of almost 3,000 fans keep coming out. The atmosphere was electric and I’m sure the players love the support.

We’ll get there. It’s still our house.

Cornwall River Kings get ready for intense rematch against Laval Braves

Photo: Rick Bowen
Photo: Rick Bowen

Last weekend the Cornwall River Kings entered the so called “House of Pain” and came out with an 8-1 thumping of the Lavallyfield Braves. (In case you’re not up to speed, the team originally started in Valleyfield but soon moved to Laval due to financial and municipal reasons.) Now Laval has a storied history in the LNAH with the previous squad in the Chiefs and are trying to live up to the reputation.

The “House of Pain” didn’t seem to work in their favour however as Cornwall’s tough guys tossed the Braves around like there’s no tomorrow. Including Braves team coach Dannick Lessard pulling a John Tortorella and making his way over to the Cornwall bench. All in all the game ended in 204 penalty minutes.

Oh LNAH (or Laval for the most part), stay classy.

Anyway, this Saturday is bringing the two teams back against each other but this time down the 401 down in Cornwall’s barn. With the intensity of a fierce home crowd, I would assume the outcome is going to look a lot like last Friday. Cell Block E will be ringing with pandemonium to get a chance to get their chirps in at Dannick Lessard and the Braves. However, Dannick won’t be behind the bench as a 4 game sentence was handed down from the LNAH for his actions.

No matter, the best team on the ice will prevail and River Kings had made some changes and have proved to icing a more then competitive team. Not everybody will agree with some of the decisions they’ve made but this is hockey and stars/players move on. It’s the nature of the sport. Management has done everything in their power to make this a fan’s team and they haven’t let up.

Photo: Rick Bowen
Photo: Rick Bowen

Loic Lacasse will most likely start and will be a gem in net as usual. Look for the last place Braves to try once again to put on a show and throw the River Kings off their game. Obviously Cornwall is much stronger and won’t let anybody push them around in their house.

Who’s House? You know whose it is.