by Robyn Sadler
General Manager, North Dundas Rockets
The North Dundas Rockets traveled to the Ray Friel Center this past Saturday, September 30, to play the Cumberland Bandits. In a rare, low scoring affair we managed a 2 to 0 victory on the back of some strong team defense and great goal-tending.
Landon Veenstra opened the scoring in the first period while driving the net to shovel home a rebound created on a shot by Shawn Simms. The second and final goal was scored on a breakaway in the third period by Justin Lefebvre, who split the D and beat Cumberland goalie Miguel D’Aoust glove side with a backhand shot.
As General Manager of the hockey club I couldn’t be happier with the 2 to 0 win. Keeping teams off the scoreboard has been a struggle the past two years, it was great to see a nice defensive effort. Nik and Lenard had the guys playing a 1-2-2 system in the third that was able to limit Cumberland’s offense and maintain the shutout for goalie Jason Buma. It takes defense to win hockey games, and that’s what I saw Saturday night. We got a big effort in nets, Jason Buma made a few key saves in the first period and was solid the rest of the way through. Brodie Barkley and Bryden van Kessel played as a pair all night and were absolutely dominant defensively playing the majority of the minutes on the point.
It was also nice to see our forwards engaged defensively as well, the back check was good, they finished checks and played hard the whole game, a good character win for our club. I would like to point out that Kemptville Midget AP Kage Hallett made his season debut with us in the win, and forward Bailey Norman had a real strong game playing D for us. We were missing Connor Roth (school), Chris Marchand (illness), Zack Towns (injury) and Dylan Nixon (personal), four very big holes go be filled.
In Junior C hockey, teams often rely on local midget players and affiliates to help us out along the way, Kage Hallett, and Ben Medynski have played games already for us, and moving forward I am sure the opportunity will arise to get a few more of our local midget players in games this season.
Next weekend we head to Vankleek Hill to play the Cougars, a team we swept last year in the second round of the playoffs. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m.
Rocket’s Home Opener is scheduled for October 14, in Chesterville, 7:30 p.m. puck drop, against the expansion Blackburn Inferno.
See you at the rink!