Jr. C Lions return to the ice February 5

Looking towards the playoffs – As provincial COVID-19 restrictions ease January 31, the National Capital Junior Hockey League is restarting its season with a modified schedule to close out the regular season. The Morrisburg Lions will play home-and-home series against the Almonte Inferno and Metcalfe Jets, looking to clinch a spot in the post-season. Pictured above Lions’ forwards Cole MacCrimmon (#2, centre) and Scott Brooks (#7, left) advance the puck during the team’s November 20, 2021 game against the Inferno. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

MORRISBURG – February 5,  when league play resumes,  your hometown Morrisburg Lions will return to the ice after nearly two months off due to pandemic-related restrictions.

The National Capital Junior Hockey League announced January 21 that the league will resume operations. Players have been off since December 12, 2021.

The NCJHL released its plan for the balance of the 2021-22 season which sees the nine-team Junior C league split into three groups of three teams.

Morrisburg, which is currently seventh in the league, is grouped with the Metcalfe Jets (eighth) and Almonte Inferno (ninth). Each team will play a home-and-home series. The points will add to their overall league standings.

The other two groups consist of the South Grenville Rangers (first place), Clarence Castors (second) and Gatineau Hull-Volant (fourth); and the North Dundas Rockets (third), St. Isidore Eagles (fifth) and Vankleek hill Cougars (sixth). Seeding into the groups was determined by win percentage.

The Lions are in the most crucial group of the league, as only two teams from that group will move on to the playoffs. Only the top seven teams in the league are guaranteed a playoff spot – the eighth and ninth place teams will play in a play-in series to determine the final playoff spot.

Morrisburg is currently in seventh place with 10 points in the standings, five points ahead of Metcalfe and seven points ahead of Almonte. Against both teams, Morrisburg has winning records.

The Lions won three out of four games against the Inferno so far this season, and the team beat the Jets in the only game between Morrisburg and Metcalfe this season. Most of the games between those two teams were scheduled during what became the shutdown period. Morrisburg opened their season with a 7-1 win over Metcalfe, and the Lions have outscored the Inferno by 10 goals.

The balance of the regular season begins for the Lions on February 5 when they host the Jets at the Morrisburg Arena, followed by a trip to Almonte on February 6. Morrisburg will travel to Metcalfe on February 11, then close out the irregular 21-22 hockey season against Almonte on February 13.

As the provincial reopening plan only allows arenas to be open at 50 per cent of their capacity, seating for home games will be limited.

No schedule is set yet for when the playoffs will begin.

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