The Morrisburg Junior B Lions produced one win in three tries in exhibition action this past weekend, and coach Mark Evans says they are looking forward to the start of the season this coming weekend.
“It looked very good on the weekend,” says Evans. “We had a couple of break downs, but overall we are very happy with where the team is right now. We are more talented and have way more potential than last year. Things are really looking up.”
On the weekend, the Lions played in three exhibition games. They won Friday night against Akwesasne 3-0 and were handed two losses, 7-2 by the Brockville Tikis, Saturday and 5-1 by the Char-Lan Rebels, Sunday.
At this early stage Evans is not worried about the losses and says the Lions will be making good use of two practises on home ice (last night Tuesday, September 16 and tonight) to “go over our specialty teams. In Junior B hockey you can really make a difference when you successfully kill penalties, as well as being successful on your power plays.”
The Lions have now signed eight returning veteran players. They are running with upwards of 12 first year players and have signed overagers (and all former Lions) Dallas Blacksmith, Justin Lefebvre and Michael Paquette.
Also back on a card is veteran goaltender John Gilmour, who kept in shape this summer playing in the newly formed CDHL development league for the Nepean Jr. A Raiders.
Gilmour is joined by newcomer Kieran Weir, an 18 year old goaltender from Ottawa who came up through the Ottawa West Golden Knights Minor Hockey and Ottawa Sting AA programs. Last year, Weir played for the West End Wolverines Major Midget A team and this past summer he played CDHL development league for the Ottawa Jr. A Senators.
The Lions have signed four, 16-year-olds to cards including defenceman Brody Barkley and defence/forward Cole Fowler, both from the South Dundas Minor Hockey system, forward Landon Veenstra from the South Stormont system and Jacob Kendrick a forward who comes from Ottawa.
“We are going to be focussing on our systems and specialty teams this week, and see if we can’t start off the season on a good note,” says Evans.
The Lions open the 2014-15 season on the road this Friday night, September 19 when they travel to Alexandria to take on the Glens at 8 p.m.
They open their home season Saturday night, when their longtime rivals from the north, the Winchester Hawks come to town. Game time this Saturday night is 7:30 p.m.
“We are looking to be very competitive this year,” says Evans.