Friday night, the Morrisburg Junior B Lions dedicated their game against the Char-Lan Rebels to their owner, Ron Casselman, who died suddenly last Tuesday, November 13.
And in honour of the longtime hockey club owner, the Lions put together a very impressive 8-4 victory over the visiting Rebels, who until the last couple of weeks had been on top of the St. Lawrence Division standings.
The Rebels are now holding second place, behind the Casselman Vikings, the Vikings counting 27 points and the Rebels 21.
Friday night’s win for the Lions marked their sixth of the season as they continue to chase the fifth place Alexandria Glens who have posted 15 points.
Dylan Dejong opened the Lions scoring at 16:27 of the first period of Friday night’s game with Nicholas Pilon providing the assist.
The Rebels got that one back with a short-handed goal, but the Lions answered in kind with just four seconds left on the period clock to carry a 2-1 advantage into the second.
Sylvester Bzdyl did the scoring with Chris Rutley providing the set up.
The Rebels came charging back in the second period to take a 3-2 edge, and they held it until 18:19 of the frame when Drew Veenstra tied it, 3-3, with help from Bzdyl and Brandon Chaffe.
Nicholas Pilon gave the Lions a one goal edge early in the third period with Zach Seguin and Peter Ketcheson helping out, but again the Rebels charged back.
At 5:29 of the third, Grant Cooper collected what would be the winner with help from Bzdyl and Rutley. It was in the dying minutes of the game that the Lions put it out of reach starting with a short-handed Rutley goal assisted by Brandon Chaffe and Sam Hodgson.
At 17:21, Rutley counted his second (Drew Veenstra and Cooper assisting) and Dylan Dejong closed it out with help from Rutley and Veenstra for the 8-4 win.
Lions goaltender, Mikael Dion stopped 40 of the 53 Rebels shots while Rebels goaltender Alex Boileau gave up eight goals on 41 Lions shots.
The Lions were unable to score during any of their nine power-play opportunities and likewise for the Rebels, in eight chances.
The Lions were coached by Cody Casselman, Ronnie’s grandson, who for some of his junior playing years played defence for the Lions and then held an assistant coaching role for a couple of seasons.
Casselman was assisted on the bench by Thom Racine.
In other weekend action, the Lions came up flat in a penalty-filled game against the Akwesasne Wolves on Sunday, in the A’nowara’ko:wa Arena on Cornwall Island.
Grant Cooper managed the lone Lions goal, while the Lions were playing short-handed late in the first period, while the Wolves collected six goals off goaltender Ryan Cooper for a 6-1 win.
The game was tied after the first period, and the Wolves carried a 3-1 lead into the third.
The games saw a huge number of penalties with Morrisburg claiming the Lions share.
The Lions were assessed 23 minor penalties by referee Phil Gilmour, while the Wolves were close behind with 22.
In addition, the Lions added a misconduct, a five minute major for kneeing and game misconduct to Chris Rutley and a team game misconduct for harassment of the official.
The Lions were unsuccessful in 12 power-play opportunities while the Wolves counted once on their power play.
The bottom of the St. Lawrence Division remains close with the Wolves totalling 19 points, the Hawks 18, the Glens 15 and the Lions 12.
Coming up, the Lions are in Winchester, Friday night, November 23 and on Sunday, November 25 they host South Grenville. Game time is 2:30 p.m.