MORRISBURG – Penalties and scoring was the name of the game for the Morrisburg Jr. C Lions’ final home game of the regular season February 10th. The Lions (9-17-2) took on the last place Bytown Royals (2-28-0) at the Morrisburg Arena. The Royals were coming off a 5-4 upset win the night before against the St. Isidore Eagles, while the Lions were trying to end a two-game losing skid after losing to the Rockets a week ago.
Morrisburg forward Brennan Revell drew the first penalty of the night 46 seconds into the game, giving the Royals their first power play of the night. Royals captain Nathan Gonyou (Samual Belanger) scored in that power play on Lions goalie Dean Gauvreau. The Royals took a 1-0 lead over the Lions.
Called for interference, Zach Leblanc was sent to the box less than a minute later, putting the Royals on another power play, this time with a better outcome. Short-handed, Brandon Cameron (Spencer Heldens) sent the puck past Royals goalie Conor Lahey to tie the game at 1-1. Heldens was sent out of the game later in the first period after a misconduct penalty.
The Lions went on their sole power play in the first period with just over six minutes left. Less than 30 seconds later, Brian Landry (Jordan Smail) found the back of the Royals net to give the Lions a 2-1 lead. Morrisburg ended the period on the penalty kill, which carried into the second.
Four seconds after returning to full strength in the second period, the Lions went back on the penalty kill with a roughing call against Revell.
The Royals were able to break through the neutral zone, with Gonyou (Alex Cloutier) scoring his second power play goal of the night, tying the game at two apiece.
Bytown’s Francois Larose (Carl Martineau) scored midway through the second to take the lead for the first time in the game. The Royals led the Lions 3-2.
The Lions had to continue on without head coach Joe Hummel after he was sent out of the game on a misconduct call midway through the second period.
Another penalty kill, another goal for the Lions four minutes later. Alec St. Gelais’ backhanded the puck past Lahey for Morrisburg while the Lions were short handed for unsportsmanlike conduct against Anthony Caserta. St. Gelais’ goal tied the game 3-3.
Eli Ferguson (Belanger, Pat Brunet) put Bytown back into the lead with just over five minutes left in the period.
The Lions would retake the lead in the final minute of the period, thanks to back-to-back goals by St. Gelais. His first goal (Leblanc, Bailey Norman) occurred with 58 seconds remaining in the frame. Just 23 seconds later, St. Gelais scored again off a setup from linemate Landry, regaining the lead. After 40 minutes, the Lions led the Royals 5-4.
The Lions went on the power play three times in the third period, with Leblanc (Landry) scoring the empty-netter with 29 seconds left in the game. Lions win 6-4.
St. Gelais scored his first hat trick of the season, and had his fourth three-point game of the season. Meanwhile Landry had his fourth three-point game of the season, with one goal and two assists for the night. Gauvreau picked up his sixth win of the season, stopping 31 of 35 shots in the game.
The win put space between the Lions and the 10th place South Grenville Rangers (8-21-2). The ninth place Lions now have 22 points, a franchise record since joining the National Capital Junior Hockey League. Morrisburg was to play the St. Isidore Eagles (19-11-1) on February 11th. That game was rescheduled to February 13th postponed due to weather. The Lions lost that game 7-1. The Lions travel to Metcalfe to take on the Jets (18-13-1) February 16th before they visit the Rangers in Prescott February 17th.