The Rockets’ Launch Pad
by Rob Sadler
North Dundas Rockets General Manager
The North Dundas Rockets picked up 4 points this weekend with a pair of wins in Blackburn Hamlet and at home against the the Bytown Royals. The team is currently sitting at 16-6 trailing the Gatineau Hull Volants for second place by two points with two games in hand in the National Capital Hockey League
The final score Friday night against the Inferno was a one sided 9 to 1 in blistering cold conditions. Opening the scoring for North Dundas was Jack van Kessel (Shawn Simms, Justin Lefebvre 18:03) on a deflection. Landon Veenstra (Brad Stitt 13:18) would beat Inferno goalie Anthony Kervin through the legs for a two nothing start with Tom Fingler (Landon Veenstra, Matthew Cowley) rounding out the first period scoring as North Dundas took a 3 to 0 lead into the second frame. Brad Stitt (unassisted 19:25); Mckay Balaton (Bryden Vankessel 17:29); and Bryden Vankessel (Jace Legue, Tyson Sherrer 2:12) put the Rockets in a commanding 6 to 1 lead after two. The third period was much of the same as Tom Fingler (Nick Sourges, Landon Veenstra 16:06); Jack Vankessel (Justin Lefebvre, Shawn Simms 11:35); and Justin Lefebvre (Shawn Simms 5:07) finished up the 9 to 1 win.
Saturday night playing at home in Chesterville, the Rockets put together a 6 to 2 effort on the back of Bryden van Kessel’s four-goal performance as he increased his league leading point total to 53 points. The Rockets got through the first period up one nothing with Bryden van Kessel (unassisted 10:12) opening the scoring. Vankessel (Brodie Barkley 8:15 PP) would strike again on the Powerplay and then follow up with 2 more goals to start the third with assists going to Justin Lefbevbre and Tom Fingler respectively. With the Rockets up by two late in the third Shawn Simms ( Nick Sourges 2:20) would seal the win with an empty netter. Brodie Barkley (unassisted 0:04) would get the final tally on a breakaway to close the win out.
As General Manager of the club, it was definitely a great way to start the second half of the year, picking up 4 big points. As is always the case in the NCJHL, the positioning is tight; meaning every point we get from here on out is crucial; while at the same time we will find out whether some the points we’ve left on the table will come back to haunt us. We were missing three players this weekend in Connor Roth, Shayne Lynott and Griffin Mccaffery meaning the lineup was a little short. It was great to see the rest of the guys step up and find the back of the net. In order for us to have success the rest of the way our guys will have to meet every challenge head on as a team; there will be many ahead.
The Rockets are out of town next weekend on Saturday night to play the Vankleek Hill Cougars. The Clubs next home game will be January 20th for a second place show down against the Gatineau Hull Volants, 7:30 puck drop at the Chesterville Arena
See you at the rink.