Improved Lions fall to Rangers

Morrisburg Lions forward Cal Bilmer (#22, right) attempts to pick up the puck for a shot on the glove side of South Grenville Rangers goalie Lee Spurgeon during the December 8th game at the Morrisburg Arena. Bilmer had one assist earlier in the third period. The Rangers defeated the Lions 4-2. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

MORRISBURG – It was arguably the best game the Morrisburg Lions have played at home all season, despite the 4-2 loss on the scoreboard. The Lions hosted the first place South Grenville Rangers at the Morrisburg Arena December 8.

The Rangers struck first, 15 minutes into the first period, having finally broken through a solid defensive effort by the Lions. John Mahoney set up Mathieu Giroux’s goal, his third of the year, giving the Rangers a 1-0 lead.

Jordan Dodge made it a 2-0 game for the Rangers five minutes into the second period on the Rangers power play. Tristan Loomis and Cole Edgely were credited with assists in that goal.
Less than five minutes later, newcomer Jensen Tysick set up Devon Burns’ shorthanded goal, putting the Lions on the score board. Lions trailed the Rangers 2-1. Tysick joined the Lions from the West Carleton Inferno December 1st.

A slew of penalties in the middle of the period had the two teams playing three-on-three hockey for a stint, followed by the Lions having another power play. Drives at the net by Lions captain Zach Leblanc and Cal Bilmer were stopped by Rangers goalie Lee Spurgeon.

Less than four minutes remained in the period when Jared Fenlong put the Rangers up 3-1, sending the puck past Lions goalie Riley Phillips.

Morrisburg forward Graham Robertson put the Lions within one goal of the Rangers with 8:50 remaining in the third period, assisted by Leblanc and Bilmer.

Three minutes later, the Rangers sealed the Lions’ fate when Cam Dillon sent home a slapper with five minutes remaining. The Rangers defeated the Lions 4-2.

Spurgeon stopped 47 of 49 shots in the Rangers’ net, Phillips stopped 29 of 33 shots for the Lions. Morrisburg outshot South Grenville in the first two periods and was even in shots in the third, at 15 apiece.

In the Lions’ other game of the week, the team visited the Gatineau-Hull Volant December 9th, losing 8-3. The Volant and Lions were tied 1-1 at the end of the first period. Gatineau scored three unanswered goals in the second period to take a 4-1 lead. The Volant scored another four goals in the third period, while the Lions managed two more goals, resulting in the 8-3 loss. Kevin Doyle scored all three goals for the Lions.

The Lions will travel to the Larry Robinson Arena in Metcalfe December 14th to take on the Jets. Metcalfe sits five points ahead of the Lions in the standings and are in third place.

The Lions host the league-leading Clarence Castors at the Morrisburg Arena December 15th. South Grenville visits the Vankleek Hill Cougars on the 15th, and host the West Carleton Inferno December 16th in Cardinal.

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