CORNWALL – The River Kings ended their 10-game losing streak in dramatic fashion on Saturday night. Cornwall erased a two-goal deficit in the third period to defeat Laval 4-3 in front of 1,339 fans at the Civic Complex.

Andre Sandrzyk scored twice, including the winner in the third, giving head coach Bob Desjardins his first victory behind the Cornwall bench.

On a night when former River King Chris Cloutier made his return to town, it was goaltender Pete Karvouniaris who stole the show. In a wild third period, Pete K dropped the trapper/blocker with counterpart Stephane Cesar at centre ice.

Cornwall opened the scoring 24 seconds in when Sandrzyk blasted a one-timer past Cesar.

Laval got the equalizer with a shorthanded marker at 11:23 of the first when Juraj Kolnik beat Karvouniaris with a nifty deke on a breakaway. The Predateurs took the lead on a beautiful tic-tac-toe play finished off by David Masse at 9:03 of the second. Mathieu Brunelle also capitalized on a pretty passing play with 4:12 to go in the middle frame to open up a two-goal lead for Laval.

Cue the comeback.

Stay-at-home defenceman Brennan Barker jumped into the play and beat Cesar with a wrist shot from the high slot 1:56 into the third to give the River Kings some life. Moment later, at 2:57, J.P. Caron one-timed a perfect pass from Antony Courcelles past Cesar to level the score.

Then, things got interesting. With a melee in front of the Laval bench, Karvouniaris and Cesar met at centre ice for an entertaining scrap. The River Kings goaltender pinned the Laval netminder, much to the delight of Cornwall fans.

That set the table for the game winning goal. Sandrzyk, in front of Cesar, was credited with the winner at 6:15 of the third to complete the comeback.

Karvouniaris (first), Barker (second) and Sandrzyk were the announced stars. Cornwall outshot Laval 41-29, including 19-5 in the third.

FISTICUFFS: The goaltending battle wasn’t the only entertainment on this night. Curtis Tidball dropped Laval’s Sebastien Laferriere late in the first period before Manuel Frechette took on heavyweight David Starenky in a lengthy bout.

ROAD LOSS: On Friday night at Laval, former River King J.F. Laplante had four points to lead the Predateurs to an 8-5 victory over the River Kings. Cloutier scored a powerplay goal with three seconds remaining in the contest for Laval. Courcelles had two goals and an assist for Cornwall, while Michael Tessier has a goal and three assists. Sandrzyk and rookie Michael Stinziani scored his first as a River King.

NEXT WEEKEND: The regular season wraps up on Saturday, March 7 when Cornwall hosts Trois-Rivieres at the Civic Complex. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

PLAYOFFS: On Friday night, the Sorel Eperviers clinched first place in the LNAH. The River Kings will face the Eperviers in the first-round of the playoffs. The series is expected to begin Friday, March 13 in Sorel.

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