After giving up four short-handed goals in a 9-2 loss to the Vikings in Casselman Thursday night, the Morrisburg Junior B Lions turned it around on home ice Sunday, for a 7-1 win over the St. Lawrence Division’s third place Alexandria Glens.
The Lions went up 1-0 in the first period against the Glens, Sunday with an unassisted goal from Chris Rutley, his first since his return to the Lions lineup a week ago.
In the second, Philippe Paquette beat Lions goaltender Mikael Dion to answer for the Glens.
But then, according to Lions coach Thom Racine, a strange thing happened, which seemed to bolster the Lions and completely shake up the Glens.
“Rutley scored a real beauty from his belly and from that point they seemed to disintegrate, while we picked up momentum. He was tripped and as he slid on his belly he got control of the puck and scored.”
After that it was a power-play frenzy for the Lions, as the Glens took one penalty after another and the Lions took advantage to score another five counters. Four of them were while they were on their power play.
“Four power-play goals were something we needed. And they came from all over. It was a good team effort.”
Drew Veenstra (unassisted) scored the first of the power play markers late in the second period to give the Lions a 3-1 advantage.
Then brother Clarke matched the effort with an unassisted counter at 1:38 of the third before providing the assist for a Marc Antoine Kamel power-play counter and a 5-1 Lions advantage.
Sylvester Bzdyl scored from Zach Seguin at 10:11 and Ryan Dunbar finished it off from Bzdyl and Zach Seguin on the Lions power play at 16:29.
“We played it like a game seven,” said Racine. “We knew we had to win if we wanted to keep within reach of CharLan.”
“We needed to play well and we needed to play smart and we did both on Sunday.”
In fact, even with the win, the Lions now find themselves six points behind the fourth place Rebels who are on a run. This past weekend, the Rebels added another pair of victories over Brockville, 5-3 and Akwesasne 4-2 as they set their sights on third place currently held by the Glens.
The first place Winchester Hawks have a slim three-point edge over the Casselman Vikings.
Thursday night in Casselman, the Lions just couldn’t get it together.
They trailed the Vikings 3-1 after the first period and 5-1 after two.
Michael Paquette scored their lone first period goal on the power play from Alex Steingruber and Michael Keenan. Clarke Veenstra added their second late in the third with help from Michel Lefebvre and Keenan, again on the Lions power -play.
In fact, the Lions power play was a big factor throughout the match as the Vikings collected four of their goals while they were short-handed.
“We weren’t paying enough attention. We forgot about Casselman’s ability to sneak in behind you and steal the puck.”
Mikael Dion started in the Lions net and was relieved midway into the second period by Ryan Cooper.
“I pulled Mikael after four goals and let Ryan play,” said Racine. “Mikael was disappointed, but he bounced back and gave us a great game Sunday. He was awesome on Sunday.”
Coming up this Friday night, December 9, the Lions host Brockville at 8:30 p.m. Sunday night, December 11 they are on the road to Athens to take on the Rideau’s second place Aeros.