The North Dundas Rockets travelled to Finch to take on the Morrisburg Lions on Sun., Sept. 24, in the NCJHL. The Rockets’ rookie, Justin Lefebvre (23) was awarded a penalty shot in the first period and he made no mistake beating the Lions’ goalie Dean Gauvreau, giving the Rockets a 3-1 lead. The Rockets went on to take the game 6-5.        O’Donohue photo

Jeff Moore
Record Staff
FINCH — The North Dundas Rockets had two games this past weekend as they travelled to the 2017 NCJHL Showcase in Gatineau to take on the Papineau Vikings on Saturday night and then travelled to Finch to take on the new-look Morrisburg Lions on Sunday afternoon.

The Rockets’ forward and Chesterville native, Jack Van Kessel (21) had a productive weekend scoring a goal on Saturday night against the Papineau Vikings at the NCJHL Showcase and an assist on Sunday versus the Morrisburg Lions. O’Donohue photo

Rockets 6 Lions 5
The North Dundas Rockets travelled to Finch to take on the Morrisburg Lions on Sun., Sept. 24, in the NCJHL. The Rockets were looking for their first win of the season after dropping their season opener to the Papineau Vikings at the NCJHL Showcase the previous day.

The Lions opened the scoring when Evan Mantha scored at 3:33 of the first period from Brian Landry to take a 1-0 lead. The Rockets answered with a goal at 4:55 as Shawn Simms sniped one from Landon Veenstra while short-handed.

The Rockets took their first lead of the game when Chris Marchand fired one home from Brad Stitt and Jack Van Kessel at 9:43. The Rockets made it 3-1 when Justin Lefebvre was awarded a penalty shot and he made no mistake tucking behind the Lions’ goalie Dean Gauvreau at 11:32.

The Rockets took the 3-1 lead into the first intermission. The Lions got to within one as Justin Rice scored an unassisted goal at 4:17 of the second period. The Rockets restored their two-goal lead as Brodie Barkley pounded one to the back of the net from Braden Van Kessel and Stitt at 10:17.

The seesaw battle continued as the Lions got to within one again as Landry scored from Ian Bowles at 11:57. The Rockets regained the two-goal lead with just four seconds remaining in the middle frame as Bailey Norman (Finch native) lit the lamp on an unassisted goal and the Rockets took a 5-3 lead into the second intermission.

The Rockets made it 6-3 at 4:15 when Braden Van Kessel snapped one home from Shawn Simms but the Lions answered at 11:01 when Mantha scored his second of the game from Jakob Downey. The Lions pulled their goalie in favour of an extra attacker with 1:41 remaining in regulation and it paid off as Anthony Pace scored from Landry and Zach LeBlanc with just 13 seconds showing on the clock.

The Lions left their goalie on the bench but they ran out of time as the Rockets took the game 6-5 picking up their first win of the season. Jason Buma picked up the win in the Rockets’ goal making 31 saves on 36 shots. Suffering the loss in the Lions’ goal was Gauvreau making 31 saves on 37 shots.

Vikings 6 Rockets 2
The North Dundas Rockets travelled to the 2017 NCJHL Showcase on Sat., Sept. 23, at the Robert Guertin Arena in Gatineau to take on the Papineau Vikings. The Rockets were hoping for a good start to their season with some new faces and some more local talent after going 2-2 in the preseason.

The Vikings (formerly the Papineauville Vikings) moved to St. Andre-Avellin after their arena was made into a township garage. The Vikings jumped out to a quick start scoring early and often.

The first was at 6:26, the second at 9:24, the third at 15:08 and the fourth at 15:27 shocking the Rockets and taking a 4-0 lead into the first intermission. The Rockets got to within three when Jack Van Kessel bulged the twine at 12:48 of the second period from Bryden Van Kessel but the Vikings got that one back at 15:32.

The Vikings took a 5-1 lead into the second intermission. The Vikings made it 6-1 at 13:02 of the third period but the Rockets got one back with just 1:33 showing on the clock as Jacob Robinson pounded one home from Braden Van Kessel and Jack Van Kessel but it wasn’t enough as the Vikings spoiled the Rockets’ season debut 6-2.

Suffering the loss in the Rockets’ goal was Jason Buma. Playing in the Rockets 2017 season debut were Jason Buma (goalie), Dylan Nixon, Ben Medyuski (AP), McKay Balaton, Shawn Simms (A), Jacob Robinson, Zackary Towns, Brad Stitt (a), Brodie Barkley, Tanner Barnet, Jack Van Kessel, Tyson Sherrer, Braden Van Kessel and Ethan Gallant. Sitting out due to suspensions were Landon Veenstra, Justin Lefebvre and backup goalie Max Eves.

Up next:
Sat., Sept. 30, 7:30 p.m.; Rockets vs. Cumberland Bandits, Ray Friel Recreation Complex, Cumberland.

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