Morrisburg Jr. Lions split two-game road trip

Lions pick up first win of the season and sit seventh in the standings.

Top four in the league — Morrisburg Jr. Lions forward Justice Brownlee sits fourth in the National Capital Junior Hockey League points tally scoring six goals in the first four games this season. Brownlee has nine points overall, five points behind Gatineau Hull Volant forward Étienne Champagne. Pictured above is Brownlee from the October 2 season home opener against the Vankleek Hill Cougars.
(The Leader/Blancher photo)

ALMONTE – A two-game road trip last weekend resulted in the first win for the Morrisburg Jr. Lions this season – 5-4 over the Almonte Inferno October 8.

The Lions scored three unanswered goals in the first period. First up was Rylan Iwachniuk (from Justice Brownlee and Owen Mahoney) with five minutes remaining in the period. Alex Bergeron followed 90 seconds later with an unassisted goal. With 11 seconds left in the period, Brownlee scored (from Connor Manderson and Curran Gilmour) to lead the Inferno 3-0.

Almonte pulled back one goal in the second period. However Brownlee (from Manderson and Keon Troccoli-Roik) and Landen Sinfield (from Brody Villeneuve) added insurance goals late in the period.

That insurance was needed as the Inferno scored three unanswered goals of their own in the third period. Morrisburg held on for a 5-4 win. Goalie Andrew Brooks earned the win between the pipes for the Lions.

There was no rest for the victors as they travelled to the other side of Eastern Ontario to Vankleek Hill in a rematch against the Cougars October 9. A week before, the Lions lost 5-4 in Morrisburg and were looking to upset Vankleek Hill’s Thanksgiving weekend.

Back-to-back goals by Brody Villeneuve and Brownlee in under a minute gave the Lions a 2-0 lead midway in the first period. The Cougars clawed a goal back in the final two minutes of the period making it a 2-1 game for the Lions at the whistle.

Bergeron (from Iwachniuk and Malcolm Cooper) restored the Lions two goal lead early in the second period. That lead was erased six minutes later as the Lions allowed two goals in under a minute, one on a Cougars’ power play. The teams were tied 3-3 after 40 minutes.

Morrisburg began the third period shorthanded, and it cost them. The team conceded a power play goal less than two minutes into the third period as Vankleek Hill took the lead. An insurance goal in the final minute sealed the Lions’ fate with a 5-3 loss.

Morrisburg opens a four game home stand October 15 hosting the Westport Rideaus. The Lions’ river-rivals, the South Grenville Rangers, will visit the Morrisburg Arena on October 16.

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