The Morrisburg Junior B Lions picked up their first point of the young season here Sunday afternoon, when they held the Char-Lan Rebels to a regulation time 3-3 tie before skating through a scoreless five minute sudden death penalty and into a shoot out.
During the three player shoot out, the Lions first shooter, Tyler Young beat Rebels’ goaltender Ryan Cooper, but that was answered when the Rebels’ second shooter, Alexandre Gendron counted against goaltender John Gilmer.
When the three player shoot out ended with a goal for each team, that forced the game into sudden death. The two goaltenders held their own against another four shooters before Kevin Veileux found the spot to give the Rebels the 4-3 shoot-out win.
Shooters for the Lions were Young, Christian Leger, Brandon Mullin, Dallas Blacksmith, Michael Paquette, Taylor Eamon, Drew Veenstra and Robbie Scott.
“It was a very exciting game,” says Lions general manager, Kevin Casselman. “We are pleased with the team and their play. They stayed to the game plan pretty well.”
According to Casselman, after the opening weekend of games, the coaches were looking for more emphasis on defensive zone coverage and reducing the number of odd man rushes.”
“John Gilmer played very well in net, Sunday. He provided us with some solid goaltending and the opportunity to win the game.”
With the arena in Morrisburg in full swing, the Lions were on home ice for their regular weekly practise last week and had a solid 22 man roster workout.
“This provided our coaching staff the opportunity to look at various options for line combinations and allowed them to work on some specific game adjustments,” says Casselman
Sunday’s attendance was 150, which according to Casselman, is a good crowd for a Sunday afternoon at this time of the year. “It was a great crowd, and they certainly left well-entertained.”
The single point for the tie puts the Lions on the board in fifth place in the St. Lawrence Division. The Winchester Hawks lead the division, undefeated in four games, while the Casselman Vikings are in second place with seven points on three wins and one overtime loss. The Rebels have four points and the Alexandria Glens three.
Sunday, the Rebels out shot the Lions 41-34. The Rebels sat out 24 minutes on eight infractions, and the Lions saw 18 minutes in nine infractions. Both teams counted one power-play goal.
Jeremy McFarlane put the Rebels on the scoreboard at 12:51 of the first period while the Rebels were playing short-handed. That lasted until very early in the second period when Lions right winger Isaac Brownlee (from Christian Leger and Brandon Mullin) put the puck past former Lions goaltender Ryan Cooper (traded to the Rebels for future considerations in early September).
The Lions dominated second period play, but could not get another goal past Cooper.
Going into the third period, tied 1-1, Alexandre Gendron scored on the Rebels’ power play for a 2-1 Rebels’ advantage at 2:12.
Just 16 seconds later, the Lions overager Drew Veenstra (from Peter Ketcheson and Tyler Young) answered to again even it.
Then at 4:33 of the third period, Lions team captain Taylor Eamon made the connection for the Lions with help from three-year veteran forward Michael Paquette and for the first time in the game, the Lions were in the lead.
They held on with some great defence and great play from Gilmer until 14:41 when Nick Sanseverino connected for the Rebels to make it 3-3.
With neither team able to count in the remainder of the game and the Lions able to kill off 55 seconds of a two minute roughing minor to Alex Kidd (19:05) in the final minute, the game went into five minute sudden death overtime.
The four on four overtime was scoreless (the Lions killed off the remaining half minute of the Kidd penalty), setting the stage for the shoot out which went in the Rebels favour with the Gendron counter.
Coming up, the Lions travel to Winchester this Friday night, September 27th, for an 8:15 p.m. start. Saturday night they are at home to the Alexandria Glens. Game time is 7:30 p.m.