Morrisburg Jr. Lions lose season opener in overtime

Morrisburg Jr. C Lions celebrate in front of the home crowd in 2021. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

GATINEAU, QC – The Morrisburg Jr. Lions opened their 2022-23 hockey season September 24 with a 7-6 overtime loss to last year’s league champions, the Clarence Castors.

The two teams met at the National Capital Junior Hockey League’s annual opening showcase, which saw all 10 teams in the league play their opening games in one venue.

The Castors scored in the opening minute of the game as Jacob Servant put one past Lions’ starting goaltender Andrew Brooks. Servant found his way around Brooks again less than two minutes later. Castors led 2-0.

Six minutes into the game, Lions’ newcomers Rylan Iwachniuk and Keon Troccoli-Roik set up Brody Villeneuve’s goal, cutting the Castors lead in half. Troccoli-Roik (from Ben Pilon) tied the game just over the halfway mark in the first period. Lions and Castors were tied 2-2 into the second period.

The Lions were on the offensive in the second period. Justice Brownlee (from Owen Mahoney) scored four minutes into the period. Alex Charlebois answered back for the Castors less than a minute later. Then goals from Ethan Mahoney (from Troccoli-Roik), and Brownlee (also from Troccoli-Roik) saw the Lions take a 5-3 lead.

Morrisburg held the lead until the final three minutes of the period, then the team gave up two goals to see the game tied 5-5 after 40 minutes of play.

Castors forward Nicholas Gaumond scored three minutes into the third, but Lions’ defenceman Curran Gilmour (from Owen Mahoney and Brownlee) tied the game 6-6 in the middle of the third period and sent it to overtime.

Gaumond scored his second goal of the night, the OT winner, with 4:24 remaining in the extra frame – Clarence defeated Morrisburg 7-6.

The overtime loss for the Lions earned the team one point, which places the team seventh in the early league standings.

The Lions will host the Vankleek Hill Cougars in their regular season home opener on October 2. Puck drop is 2:15 p.m.

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