The North Dundas Rockets welcomed the Papineau Vikings to the Chesterville Arena on Fri., March 30, for Game 4 of the best of seven NCJHL championship. The Rockets forward, Connor Roth scored two goals in the game as the Rockets tied the Vikings in regulation. Unfortunately for the Rockets, the Vikings took them in overtime tying the series at two games each. Courtesy Lauwers photo
CHESTERVILLE—The North Dundas Rockets played three playoff games this past weekend with a chance to win the NCJHL championship. The Rockets welcomed the Papineau Vikings to the Chesterville Arena for Game 4 of the best of seven NCJHL championship on Friday night, travelled to Gatineau on Saturday night for Game 5 and back to Chesterville for Game 6 on Sunday afternoon.
Vikings 4 Rockets 1: The North Dundas Rockets welcomed the Papineau Vikings to the Chesterville Arena on Sun., April 1, for Game 6 of the best of seven NCJHL championship. The Rockets went into the game with a 3-2 series lead and a chance to finish off the regular season champs with a victory.
The Vikings needed a win to stave off elimination and force a game seven back in Québec. Like the last game, it was a felling out process in the opening 20 minutes as neither team was able to find the back of the net and headed into the first intermission tied with donuts.
The Rockets outshot the Vikings by a slim 11-9 count. The Vikings opened the scoring at 7:20 of the second period as Jacob Osborne scored from Maxime Tremblay and Anthony Laprade to take a 1-0 lead.
The Rockets outshot the Vikings again in the second period 15-13 but trailed 1-0 heading into the second intermission. The Vikings made it 2-0 when Justin Labrosse scored from Simon Hupe and Hugo Lusignan at 6:26 but the Rockets answered when Brad Stitt snapped one to the back of the net from Shawn Simms and Justin Lefebvre just 16 seconds later to the elation of approximately 550 screaming fans.
The Vikings restored their two-goal lead when Tremblay scored from Gagnon and Plourde Grenon at 10:03 making it a 3-1 game. With time winding down in regulation the Rockets pulled their goalie in favour of an extra attacker with just over two minutes remaining but with just 55 seconds showing on the clock, the Vikings’ Tremblay slid one into the abandoned cage taking a 4-1 lead and dashing any hope for the Rockets to make a comeback.
The Vikings hung on for a 4-1 victory forcing a game seven. Picking up the win in the Vikings’ goal was Yanick Gosselin making 37 saves on 38 shots and suffering the loss in the Rockets’ goal was Jason Buma making 27 saves on 30 shots.
Rockets 4 Vikings 2: The North Dundas Rockets travelled to the Complex Branchaud-Brière in Gatineau to face the Papineau Vikings for Game 5 of the best of seven NCJHL championship. The Rockets were coming off a heart-breaking loss in overtime the previous night but needed to stay focused with the series tied at two games apiece.
With a win the Rockets would have a chance to win it all in Chesterville in front of the hometown faithful. The two teams played with a cautious start to Game 5 but neither team were able to bury the biscuit in the first period.
The Rockets opened the scoring at 9:56 of the second period when Bryden Van Kessel broke the goose egg from Cage Hallett taking a 1-0 lead. The Rockets made it 2-0 at 11:55 when Chris Marchand scored an unassisted goal but the Vikings rebounded with a goal by Jeremy Trudeau at 17:20 from Danny Plourde Grenon to make it 2-1.
Then, with 1:14 remaining the Vikings knotted the affair as Joel Gagnon scored from Mathieu Lapointe taking a two-all draw into the second intermission. The Rockets restored their lead when Tom Fingler smashed one home from Van Kessel and Marchand at 4:23 of the third period to make it 3-2.
Van Kessel netted his second of the game at 7:02 from Justin Lefebvre giving the Rockets a two-goal lead. The Rockets’ defence did the rest of the work holding the Vikings off the score sheet and took the game 4-2. With the win, the Rockets were in the driver’s seat with a 3-2 series lead heading back to Chesterville for Game 6 with a chance to win their first NCJHL championship.
Picking up the win in the Rockets goal was Reilly Tondreau and suffering the loss was Yanick Gosselin.
Vikings 5 Rockets 4 (OT): The North Dundas Rockets welcomed the Papineau Vikings to the Chesterville Arena on Fri., March 30, for Game 4 of the best of seven NCJHL championship. The Rockets took the first two games with a score of 3-2 and 5-4 in overtime but the Vikings battled back in Game 3 with a 6-2 victory. With a win the Rockets would be one win away from their first ever championship.
The Vikings who won were no strangers when it came to winning the championship. After bowing out in the first round last season, the Vikings were poised to win three consecutive titles. With a win they would tie the series at two games apiece heading back home.
The teams, knowing the importance of this game played a cautious first period but neither team was able to score, the Rockets outshot the Vikings 6-5 heading into the first intermission.
The Vikings opened the scoring at 6:55 of the second period as Jeremy Trudeau scored from Justin Labrosse and Jacob Osborne to take a 1-0 lead. The Rockets didn’t let the ink dry on the score sheet before they tied the game just 16 seconds later as Tom Fingler slapped one to the back of the net from Chris Marchand. The Vikings made it a 2-1 game at 10:07 as Maxime Tremblay scored from Nicolas Loyer and Mathieu Lapointe and took that lead into the second intermission.
The Vikings took a two-goal lead just 1:09 into the third period as Hugo Lusignan scored an unassisted goal but the Rockets rallied to get to within one as Justin Lefebvre fired one home from Brad Stitt at 4:31 while shorthanded to make it 3-2. The Vikings made it 4-2 as Tremblay scored an unassisted goal at 6:45.
The Rockets cut the margin to one again as Connor Roth blasted one home from Bryden Van Kessel and Fingler on the power play at 10:35. With clock winding down in favour of the Vikings, the resilient Rockets responded with just 2:48 showing on the clock in regulation as Roth scored his second of the game from Fingler to tie the game at four. Neither team was able to find the back of the net before time expired so the game headed to a 10-minute overtime period. The Vikings outshot the Rockets 31-30 in regulation.
The overtime period was a seesaw affair with both teams getting good scoring chances but with 3:37 remaining the Rockets were assessed a hooking penalty and the Vikings fire power took over as Joel Gagnon scored with just 2:22 remaining in the first overtime from Danny Plourde Grenon taking the game 5-4 in dramatic fashion tying the series at two games each as they headed back to the Québec side.
Picking up the win in the Vikings’ goal was Yanick Gosselin making 31 saves on 35 shots and suffering the loss in the Rockets’ goal was Jason Buma making 33 saves on 38 shots.
Up next: The Rockets travel to the Jean Paul Sabourin Arena in Gatineau (70 Rue Jean-Proulx) to take on the Vikings tonight Wed., April 4, at 7:30 p.m.