Morrisburg Jr. Lions lose close one to Cougars at home

Jr. Lions drop home opener to Cougars 5-4 – The Morrisburg Jr. Lions blew a two goal lead in the second period resulting in a 5-4 loss in the team’s home opener against the Vankleek Hill Cougars October 2. Pictured above: Rookie defenceman Hudson Fetterly (centre, #2), defenceman Curran Gilmour (centre-left, #14) and forward Jaeden Phifer-Shaver (right, #20) are three of six local South Dundas players on the Jr. Lions team this season. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

MORRISBURG – Penalties do not win hockey games. But the Morrisburg Jr. Lions came close with a 5-4 loss in the team’s home opener October 2.

The Lions hosted the Vankleek Hill Cougars, hunting for their first win of the season, and did hit the ice running in the first period.

Justice Brownlee opened the Lions’ scoring (from Brody Villeneuve and Ethan Mahoney) with just over six minutes remaining in the first period. Five minutes later, Curran Gilmour (from Rylan Iwachniuk and Alex Bergeron) doubled the Lions’ lead. Morrisburg took their 2-0 lead into the second period.

Penalty trouble in the second period resulted in the Lions giving up two power-play goals to the Cougars.

A penalty shot awarded to Morrisburg forward Keon Truccoli-Riok resulted in the Lions briefly regaining a one goal lead in the game. That lasted two minutes before the Cougars scored to tie the game again.

Morrisburg regained the lead again when Bergeron (from Hudson Fetterly and Truccoli-Riok) scored shorthanded. That was short-lived as the Lions conceded their third power-play goal a minute later. The teams ended the second period level 4-4.

After two rough periods with many penalties called, the final 20 minutes of the game were relatively calm with only one penalty called – against Vankleek Hill – but Morrisburg could not take advantage of it. Midway through the period, Mikael Bissonnette’s unassisted goal gave the Cougars 5-4 win.

The Lions out shot the Cougars 39-34, but they also racked up more minutes in the penalty box, 72 for Morrisburg, 48 for Vankleek Hill. Forwards Ethan Mahoney and Owen Mahoney were each bounced from the game for fighting. The team was without captain Dean Lapier, who his was serving the second of a two-game suspension.

Morrisburg takes to the road for the next two games.

On October 8, the Lions visit the Almonte Inferno followed by a rematch against the Cougars on October 9 in Vankleek Hill. The Lions’ next home game is October 15 when they host the Westport Rideaus.

Around the NCJHL

Other action on ice in the National Capital Junior Hockey League this weekend included the Inferno beating the Rideaus 4-3, and the Gatineau Hull-Volant shooting down the Metcalfe Jets 11-1 on September 30.

October 2 saw the North Dundas Rockets beat Gatineau 4-2, the Clarence Castors scored a 9-2 win over Almonte, and the St. Isidore Eagles secured a 5-2 win over Westport.

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