Longtime golfer, Mitch Cassell made it a hat trick on Monday when he dropped a hole in one on the par three, 118 yard, 14th hole at the Morrisburg Golf Course. Playing with buddies Gary Breyer, John Vincent and Ray Baker, Cassell recorded his third ace using an eight iron. “I saw it going towards the hole (back centre of the green), but I turned to my golf bag. The guys saw it go in.” Cassell had his other aces on the fifth and second holes. “The old guy can still do the trick,” he said with a grin when asked if that meant he had won all of the day’s money.
It was a packed house at the Morrisburg Curling Club on Saturday, as 12 teams slid onto the ice to wrap up the 2015/16 season with a closing “fun” bonspiel. The day began with […]
Last week the hockey community was saddened to learn of the death of Morrisburg Junior B Lions franchise owner Ron Casselman at his home in Morrisburg on Tuesday, November 13. Mr. Casselman purchased the Morrisburg Junior B Lions in 1980, and so began 32 years of dedication to the game he so loved and the young men he mentored.
As in keeping with what Ron would have wanted, the Lions’ scheduled game against the Char-Lan Rebels on Friday night went on as planned. His granddaughters Kasey, Kari and Katie dropped the puck to officially open the game, and his grandson Cody coached the game with former Lions coach Thom Raccine on the bench for support.
At the end of the game, which the Lions won 8-4, in honour of a man they greatly respected, the players skated to the overhead box where Ron would be found at most every Junior B Lions game, for one final salute. In fact, each time they scored that night, they skated to Ron’s box.
The following is a speech written and presented Friday night by Thom Raccine who has been a member of the Lions coaching staff and worked closely with Ron for the past several years.
“Before our game tonight, the Lions are honouring the memory of our owner and biggest fan, Ron Casselman, who passed away on Tuesday.
The Lions and Rebels will dedicate tonight’s rivalry to Ron and his passion for Junior B hockey, by wearing helmet stickers in his honour.
When hockey fans think of the Morrisburg Lions, the image of the stout man with the deep voice is all you really need to know.
Before every game, Ron asked in his jovial deep voice, “what do ya think tonight big fellar?” That voice and that image will never be forgotten.
Ron Casselman’s love of junior hockey began a long time ago, first as a fan, then 32 years ago, when he became the owner of the Junior B Lions. To the many fans of Lions hockey, Ron exemplified what small town hockey teams are about. He revelled in the wins and wore each loss on his sturdy face.
Thirty-two years is an eternity in the hockey business. To have stayed through the tough times is a credit to his love of the game, the people in the league and most of all his players. He really did love the kids, as his own, even if they didn’t know it. Ron Casselman saw hundreds of players. He was proud to say that the fact that they were trying out for his team, meant the world to him.
Ron didn’t always understand the players today, but it never knocked him down. He tried to adjust to our funny ways and although he chalked it up to a different generation, Ron stayed very close to the pulse of what made his teams tick.
Under Ron, the Lions won four St. Lawrence Division titles and two Rideau Division titles. He mentored his son Kevin, from coaching to general manager.
Tonight, in honour of his grandfather, Cody Casselman will be behind the bench, keeping in the family tradition.
Four weeks ago, I sat with Ron in what we affectionately call the owners box. The weight of the world was on his shoulders and there was no doubt something was bothering him. I sensed a distance, a man alone with his memories of a lifetime devoted to his team. Oh he still watched every play and disputed a few calls, but as much as he tried, he simply wasn’t himself.
This morning, Ron Casselman took one last ride by the place he felt most at home…the arena that gave him so much pride.
Tonight, Ron’s owners box sits empty, in honour of a great hockey man.
Tonight, as our Lions get set for another 8:30 start against our rivals from Char-Lan, take a second to glance over to the southeast corner every now and then, because Ron Casselman will be there, big as life, as he has been for the past 32 years.”
The South Dundas “Howitzer” Atom B Rep Lions hosted the Alexandria Glens here on Saturday night in a battle for first place in the Upper East Division, but a 2-2 resulted in no changes at the top of the standings.
The Lions were coming off a win over the Cornwall Colts last week, while the Glens were looking to avenge their loss to the Lions the last time the teams meet.
The Glens were also looking to put a little distance between themselves and the Char-Lan Rebels with whom they were sharing a piece of the East Division’s top spot, and the Lions who trailed the two by just one point.
The Lions opened the game strong and forced the Glens to take a penalty only a few minutes in but were unable to take advantage as both goalies made some early saves.
Alexandre Duval in the Glens net and Brendan Shaver in the Lions net both looked very strong early on.
Late in the first period the Glens got on board when John Caddell, standing alone in the slot, received a pass from Addison Hay. Caddell one-timed the puck into open side of the net before Shaver could get across.
Before the first period ended, Emytt Fetterly took a slashing penalty to put the Glens on the power play, but it was the Lions that would had the best scoring chances.
On the penalty kill, Jack Connors picked up a loose puck at his own blue line and out-skated the Glens defenders before putting a move on Duval stuck out his left pad just in time to make the save to hold the Glens one goal advantage.
Seconds later Connors and Joshua Broad were denied on a two on one as a Glens defenceman knocked the puck away at the last second.
Starting the second period still short-handed, the Lions Jayden Rowe and Dana Domanko came up big as they continued to clear the zone and run the Glens out of power-play time.
Later in the period at the end of a long shift Kieran Geurkink made a clearing pass along the boards to Nolan Henry who sensed the Glens defender was going to pinch on him.
Henry quickly passed the puck off the boards and out of the zone where centreman Ben Lapier could chase it down in the neutral zone and break in on the Glens goal. The other Glens defenceman angled Lapier off as he approached the net, but Lapier was able to get a back hand shot off that came off Duval’s pad and rolled over the line into the net.
The Glens pressed back, but Shaver stayed strong in the net to preserve the 1-1 tie into the third period.
Brody Fairbairn, Jaden Phifer-Shaver and Duncan Hutt had a strong shift at the start of the third to get the Lions going, and Owen Fetterly, on a strong back-check, prevented a Glen’s forward from skating into the Lions end unabated.
The Glen’s struck first in the third period, at the seven minute mark when Mathieu Lavigne stick handled into the Lions end and beat several defenders before getting a backhand shot past Shaver.
The Lions got a break a few minutes later when Lapier tripped up breaking into the Glens end and referee Spencer Heldens penalized the Glens forward putting the Lions on the power play.
The Lions pressed and on a Glens clearing attempt that was kept in at the blue-line by Dana Domanko, Nolan Henry won a fight for the puck and got it to Ben Lapier who skated into the slot and buried his second goal of the game to tie it at 2-2.
Moments later, Nathan Verhey was penalized for body contact forcing the Lions to kill a penalty one more time to preserve the tie and remain one point behind the Glens in the standings.
The South Dundas “Howitzer” Atom B Rep Lions will face the South Stormont Selects here on Saturday night at 7 p.m. immediately following public skating.
Come out for a skate and support your Lions!