Half the roster couldn’t make the game, but team still pulls off crucial win in Vankleek Hill

The Rockets’ Launch Pad

by Rob Sadler
North Dundas Rockets General Manager

The  North Dundas Rockets traveled to Vankleek Hill to play the Cougars this past Saturday night, January 13th, 2018.  The Cougars currently sit 7th in the National Capital Hockey League with an 11-12 -1 record while the Papineauville Vikings continue to occupy the top spot boasting a 20-5 record through the weekend with the Rockets on their heals trailing by 6 points.

Saturday night, ten skaters and two goalies laced up for the Rockets to face off against a full Cougars squad with the odds heavily against them; or so a person would think. The game was quiet off the start until Brad Stitt (Bryden van Kessel 13:44) gave the Rockets a 1 to 0 lead on the power play.  Twenty-six Seconds later, while still on the Power Play Bryden van Kessel (Brodie Barkley 13:18) found the top corner with a wrist shot and the Rockets went up 2 to 0.  Justin Lefebvre (Nick Sourges 6:15) made it 3 to 0 followed by Shawn Simms (Justin Lefebvre 2:40) Shorthanded marker which would take the game into the second period with the Rockets up 4 to 0.

Vankleek Hill’s Ryan Allen (unassisted 17:48) marked the lone goal for either team in the second period.  The third, and final frame went scoreless through the first 15minutes until the Cougars cut the lead in half on a goal by Charles Doyon (Nicolas Castonguay 5:02).  A couple minutes later Jack Vankessel (Shawn Simms, Bryden van Kessel 1:33) would seal the shorthanded victory for the Rockets who were quick to pack up their gear and leave town right after the game because they stole win in Vankleek Hill, plain and simple.

As General Manager of the club I can’t say that I was overly optimistic about our odds Saturday night; to put it mildly.  We have three key players hurt in Landon Veenstra, Matt Cowley and Chris Marchand; Tyson Sherrer was serving 1 of a 2 game suspension, Shayne Lynott and Tanner Barnett got called in to plow snow while Griffen Mccaffery is dealing with a family illness for which the team wishes him and his family all the best and speedy recovery.  Ten guys showed up and did the job, I don’t know if we have gotten a more important two points this season.  Jason Buma was an absolute pillar in net backstopping a tired team as the game progressed.  I have a  lot of respect for the effort half of our team (literally) put in Saturday night and they deserved the 5 to 2 win.

Next weekend we host the Gatineau Hull Volants in a second place show down.  Puck drops in Chesterville at 7:30 p.m.

Come on out and support a team that is representing out community with everything it has.

See you at the rink.

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