Third period comeback for Jr. Lions

League’s top scorer moves in – Morrisburg Jr. Lions forward, and the National Capital Junior Hockey League’s top scorer, Keon Troccolli-Roik (centre, #19) moves in during the Lions’ January 28 home game against the Vankleek Hill Cougars. Troccolli-Roik scored six goals over the weekend, twice against the Westport Rideaus and four times against the Cougars. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

MORRISBURG – Fourth time’s a charm. After three losses this season at the hands of the Vankleek Hill Cougars, the Morrisburg Jr. Lions rallied in the third period Saturday night, scoring four goals and winning 7-5.

The Lions, who found themselves on the opposite end of a 7-5 result the night before in Westport, trailed the Cougars throughout the first and second periods.

The visitors scored a minute-and-a-half into the game, and again seven minutes in. Morrisburg did not get on to the scoreboard until the final three minutes of the first period. National Capital Junior Hockey League scoring leader Keon Troccolli-Roik (from Dean Lapier and Ben Pilon) notched his 43rd goal of the season to keep the Lions within range of the Cougars.

Vankleek Hill restored its two goal lead three minutes into the second period. Troccolli-Roik (from Rylan Iwachniuk and Josh Broad) answered back 24 seconds later. Morrisburg trailed 3-2. A late goal by the Cougars was quickly countered on the Lions’ power play as Lapier scored, assisted by Landen Sinfeld and Alex Bergeron.

Entering the third period and trailing by one goal, Morrisburg’s forwards sprang into action. Troccolli-Roik (from Connor Manderson and Iwachniuk) scored 92 seconds into the period to tie the game.

Two minutes later, Sinfeld scored the go-ahead-goal (from Iwachniuk and Bergeron) – the Lions led 5-4. Thirty-seven seconds later, Bergeron scored an insurance goal on the Lions’ power play (from Manderson).

With 51 seconds remaining, the Cougars cut the Lions’ lead, but Troccolli’s breakaway goal (his 47th) with 28 seconds on the clock secured the 7-5 home win (Morrisburg’s 10th win of the season). Andrew Brooks backstopped the Lions win in goal, his eighth win of the season.

Where they stand?

The Lions (10-18-0-2) are nine points behind the Cougars and sit in seventh place in the NCJHL, but the Cougars have two games in hand. Five out of Morrisburg’s final six games of the season are against teams above them in the standings including a pair of games each against the South Grenville Rangers and the North Dundas Rockets.

Who is up next?

The Lions are home all weekend as they host the St. Isidore Eagles February 4 (7:30 p.m. start) and the North Dundas Rockets on February 5 (2:15 p.m. start).

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