Van Kessel named Rockets’ captain
The Rockets named Bryden Van Kessel their team’s captain for the 2017-18 NCJHL season. Van Kessel is a smooth-skating defenseman who is very offensive minded. Last season he scored 23 goals, 44 assists for 67 points in just 27 games. He was also instrumental helping the Rockets to their first NCJHL championship series. Moore file photo
PRESCOTT — The North Dundas Rockets had two games this past week as they travelled to Cumberland to take on the expansion Blackburn Inferno on Tuesday night and then travelled to Prescott on Saturday night to take on the South Grenville Rangers.
Rockets 5 Rangers 4 (OT)
The North Dundas Rockets travelled to the Leo Boivin Community Centre in Prescottt to take on the South Grenville Rangers on Sat., Sept. 16, in their fourth and final NCJHL preseason game. The Rockets beat the Rangers in their first meeting 11-1 but this being their final preseason game, the teams were closer to being set.
The Rockets lost their two previous games and looked to get some momentum before heading into the NCJHL Showcase this upcoming weekend. The Rockets opened the scoring just 2:29 into the first period as Braden Van Kessel snapped one to the back of the net from Dylan Nixon and Justin Lefebvre taking a 1-0 lead.
The Rockets held the 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission. The Rangers tied the game at 7:05 of the second period but the Rockets answered as Nixon pounded one to the back of the net at 16:18 from Landon Veenstra and Zack Towns.
The Rockets took a two-goal lead when Lefebvre scored from Van Kessel and Brodie Barkley with just seven seconds remaining in the middle frame. The Rockets took a 3-1 lead into the second intermission. The Rangers got to within one at 8:01 of the third period and tied the game at 11:50.
The Rangers took their first lead of the game at 12:43 but the Rockets knotted the affair with 4: 52 remaining in regulation as Van Kessel netted his second of the game from Chris Marchand and Justin Shay.
Neither team could score before the final buzzer sounded so the teams headed to a four-minute four-on-four overtime period. In the extra frame, the Rockets scored the game winner as Barkley sniped one from Towns at 1:52 of the first overtime period taking the game 5-4.
The Rockets closed out the preseason with a 2-2 record as they prepare for the NCJHL Showcase. Picking up the win in the Rockets’ goal was Max Eves.
Inferno 9 Rockets 4
The North Dundas Rockets travelled to R. J. Kennedy Arena in Cumberland to take on the expansion Inferno on Tues., Sept 12, in their third game of the NCJHL preseason. The Rockets went into the game with a 1-1 record after they beat up on the South Grenville Rangers but lost to the Metcalfe Jets.
The Inferno got on the scoreboard first just 1:52 into the first period to take a 1-0 lead. The Inferno took a two-goal lead at 13:27 but that didn’t last long as the Rockets answered with a goal by Chris Marchand scoring his fourth of the preseason from Brad State at 14:46.
The Inferno added another marker at 16:50 and took a 3-1 lead into the first intermission. The Inferno took a 4-1 lead at 12:04 and a 5-1 lead at 13:31. The Rockets made it a 5-2 hockey game when Marchand scored his second of the game at 14:16 from Stitt.
The Inferno answered two goals at 14:45 and again with just 59 seconds remaining in the middle frame. The Inferno took a 7-2 lead into the second intermission. The Inferno made it 8-2 at 6:19 of the third period and 9-2 at 9:32.
The Rockets answered when Kyle Dykes snapped one to the back of the net from Tristan Staff at 15:45. The Rockets added another goal with just 45 seconds remaining in the game as Marchand completed his hat trick scoring his sixth of the preseason from Staff to make it 9-4.
The Inferno took the game surprising the Rockets with a 9-4 victory. Suffering the loss in goal for the Rockets were the tandem of Jason Buma and Max Eves.
2017 NCJHL Showcase: Sat., Sept. 23, 8:30 p.m. – Rockets vs. Papineau Vikings, at Robert Guertin Arena, Gatineau; Sun., Sept. 24, 2:30 p.m.: Rockets vs. Morrisburg Lions, at Finch Arena.