The Morrisburg Junior B Lions continued their downward skid in St. Lawrence Division Junior Hockey action this past weekend with another three losses which brings their losing streak to seven games. Their last win was on home ice on September 30, when they dropped the Alexandria Glens, 6-0.
This past week, the Lions kicked it off Wednesday night in Brockville with a 6-4 loss to the Tikis. Then on Friday night, on home ice, they lost 5-1 to the Athens Aeros and that was followed by an 8-7 loss to the Winchester Hawks in Morrisburg, on Sunday afternoon.
“We have had hard luck scoring goals,” says Lions team manager Kevin Casselman. “The chances have been there, we have just not been finishing our offensive chances.”
Casselman also explained that the Lions have been running with a short bench due to mid term university exams. This happens every year at this time and this year affects three Lions players.
With basically the same schedule in place from one year to the next, it would appear time the Lions asked to have the schedule examined.
The team annually runs into this three game week (with the midweek game in Brockville) when players are unable to play due to their exams.
Although the Lions have lost their last seven games, Casselman says management does not feel it is due to lack of effort. “Some short lapses with attention to detail have resulted in scoring opportunities for our opposition,” he explains. “For the most part these lapses are not from the efforts being given. We must also consider that we are still a young club, and we will continue to work on all aspects in practice.”
“Yesterday’s game was an offensive game for sure,” he says of the 8-7 loss to the Winchester Hawks on Sunday. “It was one of those games where you wanted to have last possession.”
The Hawks took a 3-1 first period lead in the game, but the Lions battled back to win the second period 3-2 .
By 15:33 of the second they had the game tied 4-4 but the Hawks got one more back to carry a 5-4 advantage into the third.
The two played even in the third, each potting three goals, which gave the Hawks the 8-7 win.
Michele Lefebvre had a big three goal effort for the Lions, while Chris Rutley, Sylvester Bzdyl, Curtis Pilon and Grant Cooper added singles.
Mathew White struck three times for the Hawks, Kevin Vinyard scored a pair and singles were added by Kyle Richardson, Brandon Belding and Jamie Olivier.
Mikael Dion was in net for the Lions for 56:34. With just over three minutes left in the game an altercation between Dion and the Hawks, Brandon Belding resulted in five minute fighting majors and match penalties to both. The two will serve three game suspensions.
According to Casselman, “Mikael took offence to what he felt was interference through his crease. Earlier in the game the altercation between Dillon Lapier, was also a result of this.”
On a positive note, Casselman pointed out that when the Lions got down Sunday, “the players did not quit. They bought back for each other and only good things can come from the effort given.”
A solid first period effort in Brockville on Wednesday night, resulted in a 2-0 Lions lead. However the Tikis recovered in the second and came back for four consecutive goals as they headed for the 6-4 win.
Sylvester Bzdyl had two goals for the Lions, while Zach Sequin and Michel Lefebvre added singles.
The Tikis were assessed 10 minor penalties and two 10 minute misconducts while the Lions sat out nine minors and one misconduct. The Tikis Cody Waite scored the lone power-play goal of the game against Lions goaltender Mikael Dion early in the second period.
The Lions were flat in Friday night’s game in Morrisburg against the visiting Athens Aeros. The Aeros put together two unanswered goals against Dion in the first period and another three in the second on their way to the 5-1 win.
Michel Lefebvre scored from Dylan Casselman and Chaffee on the Lions power play to spoil Dallas Slack’s shutout midway into the third period.
Each of the teams sat out three minor penalties and a pair of checking to the head misconducts.
Joining the Lions lineup is Dylan Dejong, a graduate of the local South Dundas Minor Hockey system.
Also seeing ice time are affiliated players–Peter Ketcheson of Greely who plays for Eastern Ontario Wild “AAA” Major Midgets; Brian Landry from the Cornwall Major Midget Colts and Isaac Brownlee from the South Stormont Major Midgets.
Coming up this weekend, the Lions have just one game on Sunday afternoon when the Alexandria Glens come to town for a 2:30 p.m. start.