The Rockets’ Launch Pad
by Rob Sadler
North Dundas Rockets General Manager
The weekend past did not yield the results we were hoping for as we only managed to get two of a possible six points. As it sits now we are currently sitting in fifth place, one point behind the fourth place Rockland Nationals with two games in hand, and two points out of second place behind the Papineauville Vikings and the Gatineau Hull Volants. We really missed out on a great opportunity to grab a hold of that second spot behind Embrun, and have left ourselves some work to do in the last six games of the regular season. It seems to be the story with this team for the better part of the year, without getting into specifics, we have missed multiple opportunities to move up in the standings; and can only hope that the trend can be curbed as the schedule dwindles with each week.
Friday Night, from the stands it was evident that we came to play hockey, the effort was excellent, and the opportunities were there, the only thing missing was some puck luck around the net. We couldn’t find a way to score which is frustrating considering that we sit third in the league with a 132 goals for in 27 games. The final Score was 4-1 Papineauville with an empty netter sealing the deal in the last minute of the game. The Rockets lone goal was scored by Shawn Simms on a breakaway after a defensive chip by Tristan Staff to start the break. Simms buried a shot, blocker side, high and hard.
Saturday we played host again to the St. Isifore Eagles and were led to victory on a five-goal performance out of Liam Morrow, who tied a league record for goals in a game set in 2009 by Steven Knapp of the Maxville Mustangs. Other notables in the win were league-leading scorer Bryden Vankessel (1G/5A), Captain Brandon Mullin (1G/4A). And newcomer Dylan Nixon from the Alexandria Glens recorded his first goal from the point while adding an assist as well. Nixon is a big body on the backend with a really heavy shot; he’s a nice addition to our club moving towards the playoffs. St. Isidore has struggled recently losers of 8 straight games despite a talented roster.
Sunday we travelled to Papineauville to play the Vikings again, and we were shorthanded up front and on the backend. With only two centres, three sets of wingers and five defencemen we competed throughout the game and fell short 5 to 2. The effort was there, the manpower to get the job done was not. Brandon Mullin did notch two assists in the game marking his 99th and 100th career points as a North Dundas Rocket, a well-deserved milestone.
This week we have Morrisburg at home Wednesday night at 8 p.m. and then Embrun at home Saturday night 7:50 p.m. It’s looking as though we will have a skeleton squad again as Shawn Simms (Shoulder), Josh Hansen (Ankle), and Joe Dykstra (Shoulder) are all questionable with injuries. Liam Morrow and Tyson Sherrer are out with suspension following altercations in Sunday’s game.
Good teams find a way to win hockey games, we will see how good we really are this week coming, it will be a challenge for sure. It’s important to stay on point and to stay positive, we like our club; just need to put it together somehow.