Undefeated weekend for Morrisburg Jr. C Lions

Jordan Serson (#17, centre) and Josh Broad (#8, left) follow the bouncing puck looking for a tying goal in the second period of their February 5 game against the visiting Metcalfe Jets. The Morrisburg Lions were down 3-2 at the end of the second period but fought back in the third to tie the game 3-3 (The Leader/Blancher photos)

MORRISBURG – The Morrisburg Jr. C Lions went into the weekend in seventh place needing at least one win to clinch a guaranteed playoff spot. The team exceeded that, earning three points as they drew the Metcalfe Jets 3-3 and doubled the Almonte Inferno 6-3.

Morrisburg returned to the ice for the first game since mid-December and the rust was apparent in the first period January 5 against an improved Metcalfe team.

The Lions went down 2-0 in the first period with a power play goal by Taylor Chodas five minutes into the game. He followed up with an even-strength goal seven minutes later.

Quick work by Lions’ forwards Landen Sinfield and Justice Brownlee put Morrisburg on the scoreboard in the opening minute of the second period. Just over five minutes later, Jordan Serson settled the puck in front of the Metcalfe net and fired home the tying goal of the game.

Later in the period after some contentious play between the two teams, Alex Roy found his way around Lions’ net-minder Dawson Irving to retake the lead 3-2.

Midway through the third period after successfully killing a four-minute penalty, Morrisburg tied the game once more. Noelan Spink set up Sinfield for his second of the game with 8:38 remaining in regulation.

Morrisburg and Metcalfe remained tied 3-3 after 60 minutes, despite multiple penalty calls that saw Lions’ captain Wade Moak and defenceman Owen Fetterly, along with two Jets’ players bounced from the game.

The Lions successfully killed a penalty in the middle of five minutes of four-on-four overtime to hold the game at a 3-3 final score.

Lions clinch seventh place – For only the second time in their six seasons in the National Capital Junior Hockey League, the Morrisburg Lions are playoff-bound. The Lions needed two points to clinch seventh in the standings, and the team came away from the weekend one point better. Pictured above, Lions’ captain Wade Moak scrambles in front of the net in the second period of the February 5 game against the Metcalfe Jets.

Less than 24 hours later, the Lions were back on the ice in the Ottawa Valley to take on the Almonte Inferno Sunday afternoon. The Lions were missing three regular starters due to suspension. Moak and alternate-captain Dean Lapier both were serving the first of a two-game suspension and Fetterly a one-game suspension – all three were from issues the night before.

The Inferno scored in the first six minutes of the game. Newcomer Ethan Mahoney scored on a Lions’ power play to tie the game later in the first period. It was the first of four goals for Mahoney in his debut with brother Owen. Almonte retained the lead with two minutes remaining in the period as Morrisburg trailed 2-1 after 20 minutes.

Early in the second period, the Mahoneys levelled the game, with Owen and Sinfield setting up Ethan for the tying goal. Four minutes later Josh Broad (from Ethan) scored the go-ahead goal giving the Lions the 3-2 lead going into the third period.

The Inferno tied the game late in the third period, but not for long. Josh Price (from Serson) put the Lions back in front. An unassisted goal by Ethan with three minutes left gave some insurance, with more coming in the final seconds of the game. Morrisburg won 6-3.

The three points over the weekend secure seventh place in the league for the season, which lost nine games due to pandemic-related arena closures.

There are still two games remaining in the regular season for the Lions before the playoffs begin. Morrisburg will travel to visit the Jets in Metcalfe on February 11. Then the Lions will host their final home game of the regular season on February 13 at the Morrisburg Arena when the Inferno come to town.

No date for the start of playoffs has been announced. The Inferno and Jets will play in a special play-in series to determine the eighth and final playoff spot.

This is the first time the Lions have not been bottom-seeded in the NCJHL playoffs. Morrisburg played eventual league winners, the Embrun Panthers in the first round of the 2016-17 playoffs. Embrun won that round four games straight.

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