It’s not a good position to be in, but for the second straight year the Morrisburg Junior B Lions find themselves inches away from a St. Lawrence Division playoff spot as they head down the home stretch.
With 10 games left on their schedule including a make-up game against Casselman (due to this past Friday night’s cancellation), the Lions will have to put together some exceptionally good hockey to continue to play past the weekend of February 11-12 when the regular season ends.
After Sunday afternoon’s home-ice loss to the division’s first place Winchester Hawks, 7-2, the Lions are looking at a tough road ahead.
Although they will only meet the Hawks once more, they have three encounters coming up against the equally as tough, second place Casselman Vikings.
They have two games left against the Char-Lan Rebels, the team they are currently trying to catch and overcome for the fourth and final St. Lawrence Division playoff spot.
Last year, at about this time, the charged up Lions reached into their hockey bags to come up with some big wins as they set their sights on a playoff spot. Winning their final seven consecutive encounters it was a Cinderella story as they slipped ahead of the Akwesasne Wolves right at the finish line.
Can they do it again this year? Time will tell.
Sunday, without regular goaltender Mikel Dion who is sitting out a suspension, the Lions stayed with the Hawks through the first period.
Goaltender Ryan Cooper gave up just one first period counter and that to the Hawks Brent Simms.
The Hawks pulled ahead 3-0 in the second period before the Lions got on board with a Sylvester Bzdyl counter from Michel Lefebvre and Joel Marleau.
The Hawks added another two to close out the second in the lead 5-1.
The Lions final goal was scored early in the third period on their power play, when Lefebvre and Michael Keenan provided the set up for Alex Steingruber.
The Hawks drew 10 minor penalties and a misconduct while the Lions sat out five minors. Shots on net were equal at 33, and Matt Quirion handled the Hawks goaltending.
The Hawks demonstrated the depth of their bench with a pair of goals from Dustin Tinkler, and singles from Brent Simms, Nevin Guy, Brodie Boulanger, Brandon Belding and Brock Burge.
Last night, Tuesday, January 17, the Lions had a must-win match against the Char-Lan Rebels. Coming up this Friday night they are at home to the Akwesasne Wolves. Game time is 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, January 22 they are on the road to take on the Rideau Divison’s second place Gananoque.