The North Dundas Rockets welcomed the Papineau Vikings to the Chesterville Arena on Sat., March 24, for game two of the best of seven NCJHL championship. The Rockets forward, Brad Stitt (16) became an instant hero scoring just 52 seconds into the first overtime giving the Rockets a 5-4 victory. Courtesy Lauwers photo
SAINT ANDRÉ AVELLIN —The North Dundas Rockets opened the NCJHL’s championship series against the Papineau Vikings in Buckingham on Friday night for Game 1, welcomed the Vikings on Saturday night for Game 2 and travelled to Saint André Avellin on Sunday afternoon for Game 3.
Vikings 6 Rockets 2: The Rockets travelled to the Stéphane Richer Arena in Saint André Avellin on Sun., March 25, to take on the Papineau Vikings for Game 3 of the best of seven NCJHL championship games. The Rockets took Game 1 at 3-2 and Game 2 the previous night in overtime taking a 2-0 series lead and looked to get one step closer to the championship with a victory.
The Vikings pretty much needed a win to keep their hopes alive in the series. The Vikings got off to a good start as Anthony Laprade opened the scoring at 6:03 of the first period from Justin Labrosse and Maxime Tremblay to take a 1-0 lead.
The Vikings made it 2-0 at 8:54 when Labrosse scored from Mathieu Lapointe and 3-0 as Pascal Leblanc scored from Tremblay and Labrosse. The Vikings added a late power-play goal at 15:27 as Jacob Osborne scored from Jeremie Trudeau and LeBlanc taking a 4-0 lead into the first intermission.
The Rockets finally got on the score sheet at 13:11 as Tom Fingler pounded one to the back of the net from Chris Marchand to make it a 4-1 game. The Rockets cut the Vikings’ lead in half when Shawn Simms snapped one home from Brad Stitt at 13:37 but the Vikings answered right back scoring just six seconds later as Trudeau scored from Lapointe and Simon Hupe. The Vikings took a 5-2 lead into the second intermission.
The Vikings scored the lone goal of the third period as Nicolas Loyer scored from Lapointe and Tremblay at 10:39 and took the game 6-2.
Despite the loss, the Rockets head back to Chesterville with a 2-1 series lead. Picking up the win in the Vikings’ goal was Yanick Gosselin and suffering the loss in the Rockets’ goal was Reilly Tondreau.
Rockets 5 Vikings 4 (OT): The Rockets welcomed the Vikings to the Chesterville Arena on Sat., March 24, for Game 2 in the best of seven NCJHL championship. The Rockets took a 1-0 series lead after defeating the Vikings 3-2 the previous night and looked to go up 2-0 to inch closer to the title. The Vikings looked to tie the series with a win.
The Rockets opened the scoring just 2:12 into the first period as Matt Cowley blasted one home from Griffin Mccaffery to take a 1-0 lead. The Vikings promptly tied the game when Anthony Laprade scored from Maxime Tremblay at 4:47. The Rockets retook the lead with just 59 seconds remaining in the opening frame as Justin Lefebvre snapped one home from Cowley and Shawn Simms. The Vikings outshot the Rockets 12-8 in the first period but trailed 2-1 heading into the first intermission.
The Vikings knotted the affair again at 4:38 of the second period as Tremblay scored from Jacob Osborne and took their first lead of the game at 5:28 as Brad Faubert scored from Laprade and Tremblay to make it 3-2.
With time winding down in the second period, the Rockets tied the game as Tom Fingler buried one from Connor Roth and Chris Marchand at 3:48. The teams took a three-all draw into the second intermission.
The Rockets retook the lead when Machand slapped one home from Roth and Fingler with 5:27 remaining in the third. As it looked like the Rockets were just getting comfortable with the one-goal lead, the Vikings surprised them with a goal with just 4:12 remaining as Laprade scored his second of the game from Tremblay and Jeremie Cardinal.
Neither team was able to to finish the game off before the end of regulation so the game headed to a ten-minute overtime period. Just 52 seconds into the extra frame the Rockets’ Brad Stitt ended the game as he slid one to the back of the net from Cowley and Lefebvre.
The Rockets took the game by a score of 5-4 taking a 2-0 series lead. Picking up the win in the Rockets’ goal was Jason Buma making 34 saves on 38 shots and suffering the loss in the Vikings’ goal was Yannick Gosselin making 24 saves on 29 shots.
Rockets 3 Vikings 2: The Rockets travelled to the Centre Sportif de Buckingham on Fri., March 23, to take on the Papineau Vikings for Game 1 in the best of seven NCJHL championship. The Rockets knocked out the St. Isidore Eagles in six games to reach the final.
The Rockets got out to a bit of a slow start in that series, losing two of the first three games but surged back with three consecutive wins.
The Vikings played a similar series against the Clarence Castors in the other semifinal also losing two of the first three but they also stormed back to take the next three, ousting the Castors in six games.
The Vikings took the first lead of the series as Jacob Osborne scored from Jeremy Trudeau just 1:38 into the first period to take a 1-0 lead. The Rockets were quick to even the score as Connor Roth pounded one home from Tom Fingler and McKay Balaton at 4:22.
The Rockets took their first lead of the game as Bryden Van Kessel sniped one unassisted at 9:22 and took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
The Vikings scored the lone goal of the second period as Osborne scored his second of the game from Trudeau and Justin Labrosse at 4:03 on the power play. The two teams played a defensive gem for the remainder of the period as both goalies stood on their heads. The two teams took a two-all draw into the second intermission.
The Rockets regained the lead when Van Kessel notched his second of the game from Jace Legue at 3:03 of the third period. The Rockets’ defence put up a wall for the rest of the third period and the ones that did get through goalie Reilly Tondreau turned them aside as the Rockets took the game 3-2 and a 1-0 series lead.
Picking up the win in the Rockets’ goal was Tondreau and suffering the loss in the Vikings’ goal was Yannick Gosselin.
Up next: Game 4 in the best of seven NCJHL championship: Fri., March 30, 8 p.m., Rockets vs. Papineau Vikings, Chesterville Arena; Game 5: Sat., March 31, 7:30 p.m., Complex Branchaud-Brière Arena, Gatineau; Game 6 (if necessary): Sun., April 1, 3:30 p.m., Chesterville.