VANKLEEK HILL – The Morrisburg Lions had two games this week as they had a chance to move on to the quarterfinals with a mini series win against the Vankleek Hill Cougars.
Lions 3 Cougars 3: The Lions travelled to the Vankleek Hill Arena on Wed., Feb. 21, for game two of a two-game mini series to determine the NCJHL’s seventh and eighth seeds in the regular playoffs. It was a mighty tall order for the Lions as they needed to win the game by six goals in order to move on.
The Cougars opened the scoring at 6:40 of the first period taking a 1-0 lead. The Lions got that one back at 8:52 as Bailey Norman pounded one home from Thomas Ouderkirk. The Lions took their first lead of the game when Jacob Kendrick scored a short-handed goal at 13:31 but the Cougars scored a power-play goal at 16:58 to tie the game at two.
The teams took the two-all stalemate into the first intermission. The Lions retook the lead at 13:40 of the second period as Kendrick scored his second of the game from Ouderkirk and Brian Landry on the power play.
The Lions took a 3-2 lead into the second intermission. The Lions were not able to score a goal but they did manage to hold the Cougars off the board until 13:35 when they tied the game.
Neither team was able to take the game before the final buzzer sounded as the Cougars moved on and sent the Lions into another early offseason. With the Cougars’ win and the South Grenville Rangers’ upset of the reigning champions, the Metcalfe Jets, the Cougars moved up to seventh and will face the North Dundas Rockets in the quarterfinal.
Suffering the loss in the Lions’ goal was Dean Gauvreau.
Cougars 10 Lions 5: The Lions welcomed the Cougars to the Morrisburg Arena on Tues., Feb. 20, for game one of the NCJHL mini series to determine the seventh and eight seeds for the regular best of seven playoffs. The Lions went into the game in ninth place and the Cougars in eighth with the winner of the series moving on to either the seventh or eighth seed, depending on the other series between the Metcalfe Jets in seventh and the 10th-place South Grenville Rangers.
The Cougars came out with a purpose scoring four consecutive goals at 1:54, at the four-minute mark, 4:59 and at 16:35 to take an early 4-0 lead. The Lions got one back with 1:56 remaining as Thomas Ouderkirk slid one home from Jacob Kendrick and Bailey Norman to make it 4-1 but trailed by that score heading into the first intermission.
The Cougars made it 5-1 at 2:06 of the second period, 6-1 at 3:48 on the power play and again at 4:29 again on the power play to make it 7-1. The Lions got to within five as Brian Landry fired one home from Josh Barnes and Jordan Smail at 14:09 on the power play.
The Lions got to within four when Zach Leblanc sniped one from Brennan Revell and Jakob Downey at 15:50. The Cougars took a 7-3 lead into the second intermission. The Lions made it 7-4 when Kendrick scored just 13 seconds into the third period from Norman and Ouderkirk.
The Cougars got that one back at 5:41 on the power play but the Lions got back to within three as Brandon Cameron slapped one home from Kendrick at 7:39 but the Cougars took over from there scoring the next two goals at 15:45 and 16:40, taking the game 10-5.
With the 10-5 win, the Lions would have to beat the Cougars by six goals in the next game. Suffering the loss in the Lions’ goal was Dean Gauvreau.