Lions lose close game to Rockets

All hands on deck effort – The Morrisburg Lions put in a full 60 minutes of effort as they battled county-rivals North Dundas Rockets at the Morrisburg Arena December 4. Pictured above are three of the six players (Justice Brownlee, Dean Lapier, and Noelan Spink) who were trying to take full advantage of a six-on-four power-play in the dying minutes of the game, looking for the tying goal. The Lions fell 4-3. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

MORRISBURG – A closely fought game between the Morrisburg Jr. C Lions and their Dundas County rivals, the North Dundas Rockets ended with a loss, but with a lot of positives.

The Lions began the December 4 game by taking a 1-0 lead late in the first period. Team captain Wade Moak found the back of the Rockets’ net from a pass by Jonah Bennis and Stefan Kronstal. This was Kronstal’s first point for the Jr. C Lions in his first game as an affiliated player from the South Dundas Lions U18B-Rep team.

The Lions held on to their one-goal lead until six minutes into the second period when the Rockets fired back-to-back goals 10 seconds apart past goalie Dawson Irvine. North Dundas led Morrisburg 2-1 going into the third period.

Morrisburg’s top scoring forward Justice Brownlee collected his ninth goal of the season half-way through the third period to put the Lions level with the Rockets. North Dundas fired ahead three minutes later collecting another pair of back-to-back goals, this time 45 seconds apart, the second being on a power-play.

Being down two goals with six minutes left on the clock did not get the Lions down. Instead the team clawed their way back. Brownlee scored less than two minutes later, this time with help from Malcolm Cooper and Cole MacCrimmon. Morrisburg still trailed North Dundas 4-3.

A misconduct bounced Rocket forward Joe Keenan from the game, and gave the Lions the last two minutes of the game with a man advantage. Morrisburg pulled their goalie to finish the game playing six-on-four hockey, but could not get the tying goal they needed.

The Lions had many improvements over past matches against the Rockets. All three Morrisburg goals were at even strength and both teams each had 40 shots on goal. The team picked up only four penalty minutes in the game, a season best for the Lions so far this year, North Dundas had 19 in the tilt. All that was missing for the Lions’ effort in one of the best games the team has played this season, was a win.

That win evaded the Lions the next day as they took to the road to visit the St. Isidore Eagles December 5.

The Eagles scored three unanswered goals in the first period and added two more early in the second to take a 5-0 lead. Jordan Serson and Noelan Spink each scored late in the second period to attempt a comeback by Morrisburg. But the Lions were unsuccessful in getting past St. Isidore netminder Joshua Ivanski, who picked up his fifth win of the season between the pipes. Lions lost 6-2.

Morrisburg remains in seventh place in the league with eight points, and they trail St. Isidore by nine points for sixth place.

The Lions host another tough battle December 11, as the second place South Grenville Rangers visit the Morrisburg Arena for their final home game of 2021. Puck drop at 7:15 p.m. The team then travels to Almonte to take on the Inferno December 12.

After a week off, the Lions will visit the Eagles December 19 for their last game before the Christmas break for the National Capital Junior Hockey League.

Morrisburg will resume their hunt for a playoff spot on January 8, 2022.

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