The Morrisburg Junior B Lions mixed it up with the Rideau Division this past weekend and when the play was finished they had picked up a pair of points.
In front of their home town fans on Friday night, the Lions put it together for a crushing 10-3 win over the Rideau division’s fifth place Brockville Tikis.
Sunday night, they were on the road to Athens to tackle the second place Aeros, but came out on the wrong side of a 5-2 final score.
“It was 3-2 at the end of the first period and we were coming on,” said Lions coach Thom Racine of the Athens game. “Then we gave up a soft goal early in the third period and we tanked. We just didn’t have anything in the third period which was sad because we had played so well in the first two periods.”
“We probably outplayed them in the first period, but we couldn’t score.”
The Aeros led 1-0 after the first period on a goal by J.P. Augustine.
They went up 3-0 in the second with goals added by Damian Levesque and Michael Byrne.
Then late in the frame, the Lions regrouped and came back for two to tighten the count to 3-2.
Chris Rutley got it rolling with help from Clarke Veenstra, and then with 25 second left on the clock Veenstra struck on the Lions power play.
Setting up the power-play counter were Michael Paquette and Marc Antoine Kamel.
It was less than two minutes into the third period when Kyle Mazerolle counted “the soft goal” and “we just died,” said Racine.
“We had a good intermission and felt good. Mik (goaltender Mikael Dion) was giving us good goaltending.”
As for Friday night’s win against the Brockville Tikis, Racine said, “It was a big night for us. Our power play was good and we got some short-handed goals. We weren’t really in any trouble all night.”
The Lions got it rolling with four consecutive first period goals. Less than two minutes in, Ryan Ward struck for goal number one from Sylvester Bzdyl and Alex Steingruber. Then Chris Rutley counted on the Lions power play at 7:46 from Sam Hodgson and Michel Lefebvre.
Two minutes later Brayden Girard (from Lance Hodgson) scored short handed for a 3-0 Lions advantage.
Bzdyl (from Matt Ouimet and Michael Keenan) finished off the Lions first period scoring, again while they were on the power play.
The Tikis got one against goaltender Mikael Dion, before the buzzer sounded to end the frame, from Jordan Sourwine.
Second period action was again dominated by the Lions with goals from Michael Poapst (from Rutley and Lefebvre), Michel Thurler (from Rutley and Lefebvre) and Ryan Ward (from Steingruber and Michael Keenan).
The Lions led 7-3 heading into the third where another three unanswered third period goals gave them the 10-3 win, their eighth of the season.
Scoring this period were Lefebvre (from Rutley and Poapst), Ward (from Michael Paquette and Steingruber) and Brayden Girard (from Kamel and Lance Hodgson).
The Lions out shot the Tikis 44-41 and scored two power play goals in eight opportunities.
Coming up this week, “we have a huge game against Akwesasne,” says Racine. “Akwesasne always plays tough in our barn.”
The Wolves are in town this Friday night, December 16. Game time is 8:30 p.m.
Then on Saturday night, the Lions are on the road to Westport to take on the Rideau Division’s first place Rideaus.
The Lions are currently in the St. Lawrence Division’s fifth spot, five points back of the Char-Lan Rebels.
This past weekend the Rebels picked up a single point in an overtime loss (shoot out) to Westport. They lost 7-5 to Athens on Saturday night.
“We gained a point on the Rebels on the weekend to keep pace and are now six points ahead of Akwesasne,” says Racine.
Racine says that with school exams now over he is expecting to ice a full squad this weekend, a welcome change for the Lions.