Junior B Lions hang tough, end in sight

As the end draws near, the Morrisburg Junior B Lions picked up another pair of losses in Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League action, a close one to the Winchester Hawks, 5-4 and a 5-2 loss to the Alexandria Glens.

Friday night, the Lions were in Winchester where they put up a solid effort against the division’s fourth place Hawks. Up against their former longtime goaltender Mikael Dion they collected a single goal in the second period to cut the Hawks advantage to 2-1, and then traded goals evenly in the third as they collected the 5-4 loss.

Josh Stubbings put the Hawks on the scoreboard late in the first period, and at 14:15 of the second they went up 2-0 on a Christopher Rossi tally.

Grant Cooper got one back for the Lions with help from Steven Savage and Eric Evans just 1:57 before the end of the second period. 

Then in the third period it was back and forth, with the Lions able to stay close but never able to take control.

Brandon Pantaleo and Cam Hughes counted for the Hawks as they fought to maintain a two goal lead, while Drew Veenstra (from Evans and Taylor Eamon) and Savage (from Evans and Eamon) answered for the Lions.

The Savage goal put the game back in reach for the Lions making the score, 4-3, with 7:55 left in the game.

Forty-seven seconds later, however, the Hawks fired back on their power play, when Adam Beveridge collected an empty net goal to again go up by two (5-3).

The Lions did manage one more from Taylor Eamon (assisted by Grant Cooper and Michael Paquette) with 15 seconds left on the clock.

The game saw only six minor penalties assessed, three to each team. The Lions were out shot, 46-31.

Sunday afternoon, the Alexandria Glens paid their final visit to Morrisburg this season and skated away with a 5-2 victory.

They led 2-0 after the first period and increased it to 3-0 just over a minute into the second.

The Lions came to life later in the period when a pair of Glens. penalties gave them power-play opportunities.

Eric Evans wielded the stick for both goals, the first at 8:23 with help from Steven Savage and Martin Lavallee, and the second at 18:03 from Savage and Taylor Eamon.

That cut the Glens advantage to 3-2 and made it a brand new game as the two skated into the final frame.

Just over five minutes in, the Glens went up 4-2 and they crushed the young Lions five seconds later with another goal that put them up 5-2.

Ryan Cooper was in net for both weekend games for the Lions. The Glens out shot the Lions, Sunday, 47-29. Both teams had seven power-play opportunities. The Lions scored twice, and the Glens converted one.

The Lions with just six wins in 38 games have four games left in the season.

They travel to Casselman to take on the first place Vikings this Thursday, January 31, and on Saturday night, February 2 they are on the road to play the St. Lawrence Division’s second place Rebels.

Their final weekend of action sees them in a home and home series against Akwesasne on Friday, February 8 (in Morrisburg) and Saturday, February 9 (on Cornwall Island).

The Wolves are currently holding the division’s third place, two points up on the Hawks. Both teams will be playing tough for the next two weeks as they battle for the division’s third place spot to avoid tackling the powerful Vikings in the first playoff round.

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