MORRISBURG – Going into the weekend, the Morrisburg Jr. C Lions were undefeated since the Christmas break. The Lions played three games over the weekend, taking on the Blackburn Inferno, South Grenville Rangers and Vankleek Hill Cougars. The Cougars game was a rescheduled game from November.
The Lions traveled first to Blackburn Hamlet to take on the Inferno January 19th.
After a scoreless first period, Lions forward Brandon Cameron sent the puck past Inferno goalie Anthony Kervin to make it a 1-0 game. The Lions made it 2-0 when Jacob Kendrick scored off a pass from Thomas Ouderkirk with less than four minutes remaining in the period. The Inferno cut the Lions lead by one with 11 seconds left in the period. That was when Jimmy Thomas found a way past Lions’ goalie Dean Gauvreau. Lions led the Inferno 2-1 heading into the third period.
Zakary Rodrigue tried to play spoiler for the Inferno on their power play, tying the game early in the third period.
The tie lasted until the final eight minutes when Brian Landry set up Zach Leblanc for the game winning goal for the Lions, resulting in a 3-2 win.
The team didn’t have long to rest, taking on 401-rivals, the South Grenville Rangers the following night at the Morrisburg Arena.
Kendrick put the Lions on the board three minutes into the game, when Bailey Norman set up a pass up ice for Kendrick to tip in. Lions led 1-0. The Rangers countered back half way through the period when Devon Burns one-timed it past Gauvreau, tying the game at one apiece.
Morrisburg retook the lead five minutes into the second period on the power play. Josh Barnes and Landry set up Leblanc to take a 2-1 lead. Seven minutes later, Zach Hotte tied the game back up for the Rangers. The teams remained tied 2-2 going into the third.
The teams remained tied throughout the third period, with the Rangers out shooting the Lions 8-7. With the score tied after regulation, the teams entered into four minutes of three-on-three overtime.
The Rangers dominated the first two minutes of overtime, causing turnovers on every pass up ice the Lions could make. As the clock wound down, Norman and Kendrick made a play to get the puck into the Rangers end. Kendrick moved in on the right side and sent the puck over Rangers goalie Lee Spurgeon’s shoulder for the game winner. Lions win 3-2 with 1:04 left in overtime.
The third game of the weekend had the Lions host the Vankleek Hill Cougars January 21st at the Morrisburg Arena
The Cougars scored midway through the first period to take a 1-0 lead. That didn’t last long before the Lions tied the game when Norman put up his first of two goals for the day.
Early in the second period, Ouderkirk set up Kendrick for the one-timer, beating Cougars goalie Sebastien Moreau to take a 2-1 lead for the Lions. Norman added his second of the day with less than seven left in the second period on the power play. Kendrick and Smail assisted on the play. In the final three minutes of the second period, Landry and Aaron Smith each put the puck past Moreau for the Lions, extending the team’s lead to 5-1. In the final minute of the second period, the Cougars got one back, ending the period with Morrisburg leading Vankleek Hill 5-2.
The Cougars switched goalies for the third period, putting in Dominik Turcotte between the pipes. The change worked to shut down the Lions scoring, but didn’t help the Cougars. Morrisburg won 5-2, extending the team’s winning streak and their undefeated streak.
The Lions have won their last three games, and are undefeated in their last six. Gauvreau picked up his third win in a row and improved to a 4.61 goals-against-average.
Morrisburg sits in ninth place in the NCJHL standings with 20 points, four points back of the Metcalfe Jets. The Papineau Vikings lead the NCJHL with 42 points. The Lions host the Clarence Castors at the Morrisburg Arena January 28th for their sole game this week.