The South Dundas “Howitzer” Novice B Lions defeated the Kemptville #2 Panthers in two straight games to advance to the East Division finals against the Brockville #2 Braves.
Heading into the series, it was expected to be a close one. In previous matches, the Lions held the season series advantage over the Kemptville team 2-1-1. In October, they lost to the Panthers in an exciting overtime game in the “A” final of the NGS tournament.
The opening game pitted the number two rank Panthers against the third ranked Lions who had just come of a two game sweep of the North Dundas Demons.
The Panthers came out strong in the opening minutes while the Lions were adjusting to their speed. That result in a Panther goal just 1:40 in from Noah Penney.
The Lions bounced back quickly on the power play when Kolby Latulippe scored from the slot, assisted by Ben Lapier and Nolan Henry.
The Panthers added one more before the period ended for a 2-1 advantage heading into the second period..
Goals were traded in the second by Lion Nolan Henry and by Panther Matt Murphy, before the Lions exploded for three goals in three minutes.
Lapier kicked it off when he scored on a breakaway pass from Emytt Fetterly, then Kayne McCadden connected on a nice three way passing play by Owen Fetterly and Joshua Broad.
Henry picked up his second goal by making a couple of moves at the Panthers blue line before breaking into their zone and scoring. The assist went to Cassidy Bilmer who had moved the puck up the right wing boards.
Penney responded for the Panthers to close the gap to 5-4 in the Lions favour as they headed into the third period.
Lion’s goalie Brendan Shaver was sharp in the third period keeping the Panthers off the score board with the help of defense partners Spencer Barclay and Trent Rae.
The Lions extended their lead to three, with goals from McCadden and Henry.
Henry’s was his third goal of the game giving him his second hat trick in a week.
Emytt Fetterly picked up the assist with line-mate Owen Fetterly and Joshua Broad assisted on McCadden’s goal.
The Lions grabbed a late power play marker when Latulippe netted his second of the game with 22 seconds left with assists to Owen Fetterly and Henry.
With the game one, 8-4, the Lions grabbed home ice advantage in the series.
Back home on Morrisburg ice, last Wednesday, the Panthers were looking to even the four-point series.
Panther Noah Penney once again opened the scoring on a breakaway two minutes into the first period and the 1-0 lead held into the second period.
In the second, the Lions got on the scoreboard while on the power player when Kayne McCadden took a pass from Nolan Henry in the slot and scored with a low shot to the corner of the net.
Ben Lapier picked up the secondary assist as he kept the puck alive along the boards and made a short pass to Henry. The Panthers battled back to take a 2-1 lead, but before the second period ended the Lions scored another two from Ben Lapier and Kayne McCadden as he and his line mates Owen Fetterly and Joshua Broad would team up on a passing play.
With the Lion’s up 3-2 to start the third, the Panthers pressed but Lions goaltender Brendan Shaver stood tall.
As time ticked by McCadden scored his third of the game, a hat trick, with the Fetterly boys’ picking up assists, Owen and Emytt.
When the third period expired, and the Lions had their fourth consecutive playoff win and second series sweep.
The South Dundas “Howitzer” Novice B Lions were in playoff action on Sunday afternoon in Brockville for Game #1 of the East Division Final and won 5-3, Game #2 was played last night, Tuesday, March 6th in Morrisburg.
Details of the championship series will be in next week’s issue of The Leader.