MORRISBURG – The Morrisburg Lions and South Grenville Rangers were each looking to bounce back from stinging defeats the night before when they squared off October 16 in the first of four regular season games between these two river rivals.
The Lions (1-3-0-1) pushed the Rangers (4-1-0-0) to the brink of elimination in the playoffs last season.
Armed with many new players on the roster, Morrisburg fell back into old habits giving too many power play opportunities to the opposition. The Lions started the game on the hot foot, scoring 19 seconds in. Ethan Mahoney (from Keon Troccoli-Riok) tucked the puck past Rangers’ goalie Andrew Cristea for the early 1-0 lead. A roughing penalty against the Lions resulted in Jesse McCoy’s power play goal to tie the game 1-1. Aiden Bailey put the Rangers in the lead a minute later, followed by a second power play goal of the day, scored by Cooper Rogers. South Grenville led Morrisburg 3-1. A one-timer scored by Troccoli-Riok (unassisted) cut the Rangers’ lead to one goal before the end of the first period.
Two goals in rapid succession put the Lions back in the lead in the second period. First was Curran Gilmour’s power play goal four minutes in (from Rylan Iwachniuk and Troccoli-Riok) followed by Connor Manderson’s goal (from Landen Sinfield and Alex Bergeron). That lead was short-lived.
Morrisburg gave up another power play goal less than two minutes later as Zach White tied the game for South Grenville.
Three goals scored over the span of three minutes by Vincent Busseau, Connor VanLuit, and Busseau again on a power play, sealed the Lions fate after 40 minutes.
Manderson scored again for the Lions to cut the Rangers lead, but an empty netter in the last minute resulted in an 8-5 loss for the Lions. Morrisburg was five-for-nine on the penalty kill allowing four power play goals in the game. The teams were tied in shots at 42 each.
Lions goalie Andrew Brooks notched his third loss of the season while Rangers goalie Cristea picked up his third win.
The Lions host the Metcalfe Jets October 22 in their sole game of the week. Puck drop is at 7:15 p.m.