CORNWALL – On a night the River Kings honoured their team captain, Steve Simoes scored a huge third-period goal to lift Cornwall to a 5-1 victory over Sorel.

With the win, the River Kings evened the best-of-seven series at 2-2 in front of 1,285 fans at the Civic Complex. The series concludes next weekend.

Goaltender Pete Karvouniaris was named the game’s first star with a 29-save performance.

With the River Kings leading 2-1 in the third period and the Eperviers pressing, Simoes scored perhaps the biggest goal of the season for Cornwall. Midway through the third, Simoes went in on a semi-breakaway and outwaited Sorel goaltender Adam Russo to give the River Kings a two-goal lead.

Antony Courcelles, with his fourth of the playoffs, opened the scoring for Cornwall with a highlight reel goal 43 seconds into the second. With the River Kings on a powerplay, Courcelles finished off a pretty tic-tac-toe passing play from Sasha Pokulok and Julien Corriveau.

Michael Stinziani gave the River Kings a 2-0 lead with 3:49 to play in the middle frame. After Pierre-Luc Faubert’s shot was stopped by Russo, Stinziani pounced on the rebound for his second of the post-season.

Etienne Brodeur got the Eperviers on the scoreboard when he beat Karvouniaris with only 52 seconds to play in the second.

Cue captain Simoes’ clutch effort, a shorthanded marker with 9:04 to play.

Andre Sandrzyk, with 3:52 to play, beat Russo with a backhander before Francois Ouimet iced it with an empty netter.

Referee Jim Chandik was forced to leave the game mid-way through the third period when he was accidentally tripped up and hit his head on the ice. He would return later in the third.

Sandrzyk (second) and Simoes were the other stars. Sorel outshot Cornwall 30-23.

SIMOES: Prior to the game, the River Kings honoured Simoes, who will retire at the end of the season. Simoes has been the heart and soul of the team since they came to Cornwall in the fall of 2012. The 36-year-old from Brossard is the only River King to ever wear the “C”. After five seasons in the Central Hockey League with the Laredo Bucks, Simoes came home and played his final seven seasons of pro hockey in the LNAH, with stops in Sherbrooke, Thetford-Mines, Riviere-du-Loup and finally Cornwall, where he will retire as a River King.

FRIDAY AT SOREL: Nicolas Larocque-Marcoux scored two goals and added an assist to lead the River Kings to a victory over the Eperviers in Sorel on Friday night in Game 3. Nik Pokulok, Ouimet, Sandrzyk and Jason Lepine also scored for Cornwall. Karvouniaris earned the victory in goal with a 41-save performance.

Series Schedule

Game 1: Sorel 6, Cornwall 3
Game 2: Sorel 5, Cornwall 2
Game 3: Cornwall 6, Sorel 3
Game 4: Cornwall 5, Sorel 1
Game 5: Friday, March 27 at Sorel, 8 p.m.
Game 6: Saturday, March 28 at Cornwall, 7:30 p.m.
Game 7: x-Sunday, March 29 at Sorel, 4 p.m.
x-If necessary

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