Lions on-ice struggles continue

Jr. C Lions under fire – Morrisburg Lions goalie Justin Leclair (center) faced shot after shot against the visiting Clarence Castors October 19th. The Castors picked up seven goals in 22 shots before Leclair was pulled late in the second period. The struggling Lions lost to the Castors 8-1. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

MORRISBURG – It wasn’t the beginning to the season that the Morrisburg Lions coaching staff was hoping for. The team continued their struggle the past weekend, dropping another two games. Morrisburg remains winless this season, having earned only a single point in a tie to Bytown last week.

“It’s disappointing all around,” said Lions head coach Ken Turnbull. “We can make excuses but in the end, we need to be better out there.”

He said that since the last season ended, general manager Kevin Casselman and the coaching staff have been working to improve the team.

In the lead up to the season, the Lions announced several signings including Justice Brownlee from the Char-Lan Rebels, along with Williamsburg-native and former Brockville Braves prospect Kayne McCadden.

However the season has not gone to plan. The team has lost seven-out-of-eight games so far.

“We’re getting more depth out there on the ice. But we have players who aren’t accountable,” Turnbull said. “We get scored on and they think the world has come to an end.”

Injuries have been an issue for the team. Morrisburg lost 21-year-old goalie Miquel Daoust in the second game of the season. He is out indefinitely due to concussion issues. Noah Edmonds, who played for the South Grenville Rangers last season, hasn’t played a game yet for the Lions this season. He is out with an undisclosed injury, as is team captain Brendan Markell. Turnbull had no timeline for when those three would return.

Suspensions have been an issue too for the team, something Turnbull said is part of a league issue with fighting.

“Every time we’ve played Gatineau there have been issues,” he said. “It’s not just this year.”

There were over 100 penalty minutes assessed in the most recent game between the two teams which also resulted in Lions Tyson Sherrer and McCadden each suspended for two games.

Regardless of the physical issues from visiting teams, Turnbull said that the bench expects a better effort out of the players on the ice.

“We’re in every single game but we take four-or-five shifts off and we’re penalized for it,” he said.

Turnbull highlighted the work ethic of local players Cal Bilmer, Sherrer, and Aaron Smith. This season the team has five players from South Dundas, up from two last season.

Increasing the number of local players to the team was a goal this season, which was difficult considering the proximity of other National Capital Junior Hockey Teams to Morrisburg.

Those challenges aside, coach Turnbull said the team expected better from the players, and themselves.

“We want better for the players, and for our town,” he said. “We care, we have pride in our team. We want to win and need to be better.”

Metcalfe Jets 7
Morrisburg Lions 4

The Lions traveled up the 31 to Metcalfe to take on the Jets Ocotber 18th. The team trailed the Jets 3-1 after the first period. Branden Kehoe (from Justin Shay and Jack Ingram) kept the Lions in the game.

Morrisburg overtook Metcalfe in the second thanks to a pair of power play goals. First Brownlee (from Cal Bilmer) scored, followed by Aiden Daly (from Jake Amo and Kevin Doyle) and

Tanner Barnett (from Ingram and Cameron Fraser). The Jets tied the game 4-4 in the dying minutes of the period.

Metcalfe scored three unanswered goals in the third period, resulting in a 7-4 victory for the Jets.

Clarence Castors 8
Morrisburg Lions 1

Morrisburg hosted the Clarence Castors October 19th at the Morrisburg Arena, picking up another lop-sided loss for the home team.

The Lions trailed the Castors 3-0 after 20 minutes.

After giving up another goal early in the second, Brownlee (from Ingram and Greg McMullen) put Morrisburg on the scoreboard.

The Castors potted three unanswered goals in just over two minutes to extend Clarence’s lead to 7-1. The Lions went on to lose to the Castors 8-1.

The Lions visit their up-river division rivals, the South Grenville Rangers on October 26th in Cardinal, puck drop at 8:10 p.m. Morrisburg will then head to St. Isidore to take on the Eagles October 27th.

*Note* This story was corrected to reflect the Lions have an away game against the South Grenville Rangers.

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