Last Tuesday October 2, the Novice B Lions traveled to Kemptville to kick off the regular season with a 3-3 tie against the Panthers.
The home team caught the Lions on their heels early, but Lions goalie Brayden Lalonde-Thompson came up big with several key saves to keep the opponents off the board. Rallied by Brayden’s strong play, the Lions woke up and began to skate with the Panthers.
The play was back and forth with equal chances at each end until 5:31 left in the first period when the Panthers struck for a l-0 lead.
The Lions answered three minutes later when Montgomery Dejong pinched at the opponents blue line keeping the puck in the zone and the play alive with a strong battle along the boards.
Spencer Barclay picked up the loose puck, and passed to his winger Dryden Buter who fired a quick shot on net.
The Kemptville goalie made the save but was unable to control the rebound allowing left winger Quade Mullin to bury it to tie for the Lions first goal.
Thirty seconds later on the next shift, Sean Nicolaassen jumped on a Panther turnover in the neutral zone, broke in on net, deked the goalie and backhanded it into the open side making it 2-1.
The Panthers answered late in the first period to tie it 2-2 and then took a 3-2 lead midway through the second period.
With three minutes left in the second, strong back checking from Sam Connors pressured the Panthers forward to cough up the puck.
Nicolaassen grabbed it and passed up to Owen Paterson who took it the rest of the way and found the back of the net to knot the game at 3-3.
Strong defensive play from defencemen Cameron Shaver, Nathan Paulino, Montgomery Dejong, Jackson McCann and Stefan Kronstal limited the Panthers chances in the third period. Lalonde-Thompson took care of any chances that did come with save after save.
With the Panthers pressing late in the game, the Lions were called on a tripping penalty, gave the home team a power play with only 10 seconds to go.
The Lions, however, were equal to the task, getting the puck into the corner off the draw and keeping it from the net until time ran out.
Lions goalie Brayden Lalonde-Thompson won the “Big Stick” as player of the game.
In exhibition play, Saturday, Nicolaassen led the way against Char-Lan with three goals and an assist as the Lions collected a 4-3 victory. Patterson added a goal and assist and Dejong had two assists.
Dryden Buter played a strong game in net filling in for the Lions absent regular goalie. Patterson started the scoring in the first period on a nice passing play from Nicolaassen and Dejong.
Char-Lan scored in the second to tie it 1-1.
In the third period, Dejong picked up the puck and made a cross ice pass to Patterson who chipped the puck past the defense to send Nicolaassen on a breakaway mission to give the Lions a 2-1 lead.
The Rebels answered before Nicolaassen added two more to complete his hat trick and stake the Lions to a 4-2 lead.
A goal late in the game brought Char-Lan to within one, but the Lions were able to hold them off for the 4-3 victory. Nicolaassen took the “Big Stick” honours for the game.
The Novice B Lions next home game is Sunday, October 14th.