MORRISBURG – Having traded team captain Zach Leblanc to the Vankleek Hill Cougars and signed a couple of new players, the new look Lions took on the South Grenville Rangers at the Morrisburg Arena January 12th.
Added to the roster were Dennis Fisher and Daniel MacDonald.
The Lions were also missing three players, with Aaron Smith serving the second of a four game suspension, and Dylan Adrain and Jensen Tysick each serving one game suspensions from their tilt against the Metcalfe Jets on January 11th.
The Rangers also had seen some roster moves, with Justin Saab-Brault joining the team. Saab-Brault previously played with St. Michael’s College.
South Grenville scored three goals in the first three minutes of the game: first with Jared Fenlong’s goal 89 seconds in, followed by a power play goal by Jordan Dodge 90 seconds later. Off the faceoff, with Morrisburg at full strength, Chris Row made it 3-0 Rangers six seconds later.
A time out and a quick regroup put the Lions on the offensive. Kevin Doyle scored on Rangers’ netminder Sam Ring-Limoges. Then 10 minutes later, newly-named captain Devon Burns cut the Rangers’ lead to one goal. South Grenville forward Jack Finnerty scored his 12th goal of the season, with 11 seconds remaining in the period. Lions trailed the Rangers 4-2 going into the second period.
The Lions benefited from a string of penalties second period, scoring back-to-back power play goals less than three minutes apart, to tie the game. First Burns and Graham Robertson set up Cal Bilmer for his eighth goal of the season. Then Bilmer set up Burns for his 23th goal of the season. Morrisburg knotted up South Grenville 4-4 going into the third period.
More penalties against South Grenville in the third period resulted in another power play goal for Morrisburg. Burns completed his hat trick off a pass from Francis Chartrand, and leads the Lions in goals and points for the team. The Lions led for the first game.
Sloppy play late in the third period resulted in the Rangers forcing the Lions to turn over the puck.
With 1:37 left in the game, Row scored the tying goal for the Rangers. Finnerty scored for South Grenville 27 seconds later, sealing the Lions’ fate. The Rangers steal a win from the Lions 6-5.
Ring-Limoges claimed the win in net for the Rangers, Paulo Suppa the loss for the Lions. The Rangers outshot the Lions 42-39.
South Grenville regains a five point lead over the North Dundas Rockets in the National Capital Junior Hockey League standings for first place in the west division. Morrisburg remains in fourth place in the division, ninth place overall. They are 10 points out of a playoff spot.
The Lions travel to Chesterville January 19th to take on the Rockets, then host the Gatineau-Hull Volant on the 20th. The Rangers visit the Metcalfe Jets on January 18th, and host the St. Isidore Eagles on the 19th.