Trio of power-play goals help sink Lions

Morrisburg Lions’ goalie Riley Phillips makes this glove save on a shot from Jordan Poulin during the first period of the South Grenville Rangers-Morrisburg Lions tilt on December 21st in Cardinal. (The Leader/Blancher photo)
Lions’ defenceman Tanner Barnett goes into the corner against Rangers’ forward Brayden Forestell.

CARDINAL – The Morrisburg Lions returned to Cardinal December 21st for the second half of a home-and-home series against the league-leading South Grenville Rangers. The Lions, in the hunt for just their second win of the season, lost the first half of the series in Morrisburg on December 14th 14-1.

Dylan Sharpley drew the first goal, on a Rangers’ power-play nine minutes into the game, assisted by Cameron Dillon and Jared Fenlong. Three minutes later, Jacob McGonegal (from Hayden Sayeau and Mathieu Giroux) extended the Rangers’ lead, followed by Kyle Dillabough’s goal (from Brayden Forestell and Hunter Shipclark). The Lions trailed the Rangers 3-0 after 20 minutes.

Lions’ forward Tyson Sherrer skates down the wing during the second period.

Just over five minutes into the second period, Dillion made it a 4-0 game for the Rangers with his tip-in goal, assisted by Fenlong and Forestell.

Late in the period, the Lions caught a break. Forward Justice Brownlee fired in a pass from Tanner Barnett to put Morrisburg on the scoreboard. Eighty seconds later on a Morrisburg power-play, Cam Sherrer (from Carter Tait and Aiden Daly) scored his second goal of the season for the Lions. Morrisburg had cut South Grenville’s lead in half but still trailed 4-2.

Justice Brownlee (#16, right) had one of the two goals scored by Morrisburg during the game.

The Rangers quickly went on a power-play of their own after Tyson Sherrer was sent to the sin bin for spearing. Twenty seconds into the power-play, Dillon connected with Fenlong and Aiden Baily for his second goal of the night. Rangers led the Lions 5-2 going into the third period.

South Grenville added four goals in the third period with Sharpley, Brody Ranger (power-play), Shipclark, and Owen Webster each scoring.

While the evening game in Cardinal began with the Christmas spirit and Santa Claus dropping the ceremonial first puck, the festive mood subsided as frustration set in during the final 10 minutes of the game. The Lions picked up five penalties including two game-misconducts, sending Cam Sherrer and brother Tyson Sherrer to the locker room. The Lions fell to the Rangers 9-2.

Phillips under fire.

Shots-on-goal were unavailable however the Lions amassed 69 penalty minutes to the Rangers’ 12 minutes.

South Grenville goalie Xavier Dusablon netted his seventh win of the season and leads the league’s regular goalies in goals-against with a 1.59 GAA. Lions’ netminder Riley Phillips claimed the loss in goal for Morrisburg.

The Lions left Cardinal to take on the Metcalfe Jets the following night, resulting a 5-3 loss. The Rangers tallied a 9-3 win in St. Isidore to extend their winning streak to three games.

Rangers’ goalie Xavier Dusablon now leads the NCJHL with the lowest goals-against-average among regular goalies with a 1.56 GAA.

South Grenville’s win against the Eagles clinched the team first place in the NCJHL West Division with 10 games remaining. The Rangers have 21 wins, two losses, and one tie this year and lead the league with 43 points.

Morrisburg added to their losing streak, they have lost the last 13 games. The Lions have one win, 22 losses and one tie for three points.

Both teams are off for the Christmas holiday break and resume play beginning January 3rd. The Rangers will travel to Vanier to take on the Bytown Royals on that day, followed by hosting the Metcalfe Jets in Cardinal on January 4th. The Lions host the West Carleton Inferno on January 4th in Morrisburg, then travel to Gatineau to take on the Volant on January 5th.

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