After playing “a pretty good game” in Casselman on Thursday, one night later in Morrisburg, it was a whole different story when the Winchester Hawks came to town.
The Morrisburg Junior Lions kicked off the week in Casselman with a 4-1 loss to the Vikings.
“We played a pretty good game Thursday in Casselman, and should have won the game,” says coach Thom Racine. “We can’t score a goal to save our lives right now, and that has hurt us.”
While the Lions may be having trouble scoring, it is certainly not a problem that is plaguing the St. Lawrence Division’s second place Winchester Hawks.
The Hawks flew into town Friday night, where they demolished the Lions in front of the hometown crowd 11-2.
“The quick turn around into Friday night against, arguably, the best team in the league (Winchester) was too much for us to handle,” says Racine. “We had nothing for them and they played with us.”
“Losing at home, 11-2, is embarrassing, and we felt that all night. We just could not get out from under the pressure Winchester put on us.”
Thursday night in Casselman, the Vikings went up 2-0 in the first period on goals by Marc-Andrew Quann and Joel Adam on the Vikings power play in the last minute of the frame.
They added another two counters in the final five minutes of the second period from Curtis Chennette and Marcel Groulx.
With help from Ryan Ward and Michael Keenan, Marc Antoine Kamel spoiled Kyle Lamothe’s shutout with just 23 seconds left on the clock.
The Lions were unsuccessful in their 14 power-play opportunities in a game that saw an abundance of penalties. The Vikings counted once in 11 chances. A total of 63 minutes in penalties were collected by the Lions while the Vikings earned 75 minutes worth.
A good portion of the penalty minutes were awarded in a rough and tumble second period.
Friday night in Morrisburg the Hawks went to work for a 4-0 first period lead and at the end of 40 minutes of play they were coasting on a 9-1 advantage.
The lone Morrisburg goal was scored by Marc Antoine Kamel, from Ryan Ward and Ty Hodgson, on the Lions power play.
The Hawks let up in the third period to collect just two goals from Lions’ goaltender Ryan Cooper who replaced starter Mikael Dion late in the second frame.
Scoring for the Lions in the third, with 15 seconds left in the game, was Brayden Girard from Michel Thurler and Alex Steingruber.
Jesse Barbier led the Hawks scoring with three goals. Brock Burge and Dylan Chessel had two goals apiece and singles came from the sticks of Brandon Belding, Mike Evelyn, Evan Walker and Dustin Tinkler.
Coach Racine was not on the Lions bench Friday, as he was serving a suspension handed out the night before in Casselman. He says he was able to make a positive out of a negative and used the opportunity to get “a different look at the game, Friday.” He is hoping that what he saw Friday can be fixed and “we can take a positive out of a beating.”
Coming up this Friday, November 11, the Lions are at the Glengarry Sports Palace for an 8 p.m. game against the Alexandria Glens.
Then on Sunday, November 13 they are at home to the Rideau Division’s first place Westport Rideaus. Game time is 2:30 p.m.
Racine says that after Friday night’s loss to the Hawks, “I told the kids to shake it off and get ready for the next beast Friday in Alexandria, and hopefully find a way to work as hard as we did in Casselman. Hopefully, we can force a few goals to pick up our spirts.”
“We host Westport, Sunday, and the month does not get any easier. So hard work needs to show up every night.”