Rockets pick up two wins, return home tomorrow — but Chris Marchand out with broken jaw

Match up against Lions tomorrow night, Dec. 2, in Chesterville

The Rockets’ Launch Pad

by Rob Sadler
North Dundas Rockets General Manager

This past weekend the North Dundas Rockets played host to the 1st place Gatineau Hull Volants on Saturday night in Chesterville; and then traveled down the 401 to Prescott for a matinee against the South Grenville Rangers at the Leo Boivin Community Center.  The results were two wins and another crucial four points in the very tight NCJHL standings.

The Rockets came out of the gate hard on Saturday night with Brad Stitt, Landon Veenstra and Tom Fingler establishing a strong forecheck from the very first shift.  Brodie Barkley would open the scoring on the PP on a pass from Landon Veenstra following a great face off win by Justine Lefebvre at 9:35 in the first period.  As the game progressed the Rockets would build a 6 to 0 lead until half way through the third period.  The end result was an 8 to 2 win.  Tom Fingler made a strong debut with the rockets cashing in 3 goals, a welcomed addition to the lineup, especially given the slump that the guys have been battling through for the past couple weeks.

As General Manager of the club, I can’t remember if the Rockets have ever had such a complete regular season win,  we worked hard from the start, the forecheck was great, the backcheck was there, we buried our chances, and out shot Gatineau 71 to 28 throughout the game.  I’m glad Winchester native Tom Fingler has returned home and made an immediate impact; when a player like him gets dropped into the lineup the team is getting a guy that knows how to play hockey the “right way”; and that’s the full 200 ft of the rink.  Our D was also rock solid and welcomed Ryan Carbonette into the lineup for his first game with the club who paired excellently with Bryden van Kessel, showing why he was an integral part of Embrun’s championship win last season.

Rockets Scoring Summary for Saturday night:

1st Period

Brodie Barkley (Justin Lefbvre, Landon Veenstra 9:35 PP); Justin Lefebvre (Jack van Kessel, Nick Sourges 7:58)

2nd Period

Tom Fingler (Ryan Carbonette, Brad Stitt 19:00); Connor Roth (Unassisted 9:04)

3rd Period

Bryden van Kessel (Connor Roth, Shawn Simms 18:38); Justin Lefebvre (Bryden van Kessel, Landon Veenstra 15:09); Tom Fingler (unassisted 5:24); Tom Fingler ( Nick Sourges, Landon Veenstra 17:18)

Sunday afternoon in Prescott things got off to a rocky start as the team got down 4-to-1 early into the 2nd period with the lone Rockets goal belonging to Shawn Simms (Bryden van Kessel 15:36).  Tom Fingler led the comeback recording a natural hat trick in 7 minutes tying the game at 4, with assists going to Tanner Barnett, Landon Veenstra (2) and Brad Stitt on the goals.  Landon Veenstra put the team ahead with the game winning goal at 16:32 of the 3rd taking  a breakaway pass from Brodie Barkley and scoring on a great second effort on his own rebound.  Rounding out the scoring for the Rockets was Justin Lefebvre (2) and Brad Stitt with assists going to Jace Legue, Bryden Vankessel (2), Tom Fingler and Shawn Simms.

It was a quick turn around on games this weekend for us, playing Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. and then again Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. on the road was definitely the challenge for us on Sunday.   It took a period and a half to wake up, and get to work, and we are happy as an organization with the resolve we showed to come back and win.  As in a lot of cases, winning comes at a cost, as Chris Marchand took a dirty blindside hit to the head near the end of the first period that resulted in a dislocated and broken jaw, meaning he will be out of the lineup until well into the new year.

As an organization we are impressed with the clubs efforts this weekend, and it was great to see the offense come back to life outscoring our opponents 16 to 6 over the weekend.  Losing Marchand is going to leave a hole that someone now has the opportunity to fill for the time being; but on the whole things are looking great from a player standpoint and we are excited about the up coming weekend when we will travel to Vanier on Friday night to play the Bytown Royals and then return home Saturday night, December 2nd, to host the Morrisburg Lions at 7:30.

We appreciate all those who came out to support us last Saturday night and would encourage anyone interested in watching some great hockey to come take in a game in Chesterville.

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