Rockets tie Jets, tame Lions; van Kessel electrifies in return from Hydro job

The Rockets’ Launch Pad

by Rob Sadler
North Dundas Rockets General Manager

The North Dundas Rockets had a pair of games this past weekend against the the surging Metcalfe Jets, winners of 4 straight, and the Morrisburg Lions who are jockeying for positioning with the South Grenville Rangers heading into the playoffs.

Friday night’s game in Metcalfe was a high tempo skate with both teams leaving everything they had on the ice battling to a 4 – 4 draw after four periods.  Bryden van Kessel (Conner Roth 6:42) was the lone goal scorer in the first period as the Rockets took a one goal lead into the second until Shawn Simms (Justin Lefebvre 17:59) gave them a short lived cushion.  The Jets would then storm back scoring four unanswered goals Tyler Jodoin (William Lachappelle, Nathan Bols 15:554); William Lachappelle (Evan Mantha, Nathan Bols 12:07); Nathan Bols (James Horvath 8:25); and Tyler Jodoin (William Lachappelle 1:22).

Scoring a hat trick against Morrisburg, Rockets Captain Bryden van Kessel was a huge factor in his team’s performance on the weekend.

The third period, a rejuvenated Rockets team managed to claw it’s way back on goals by Justin Lefebvre (Shawn Simms, Matthew Cowley 10:43) and Bryden van Kessel (Shawn Simms, Justin Lefebvre 8:33) in order to force an exciting overtime period.  The Rockets, sporting an unimpressive 0-3 record in overtime, exchanged opportunities to win with their opponent only for time to expire with Bryden van Kessel looking at a breakaway from the red line in.

Saturday night at home the Morrisburg Lions came to the barn in Chesterville to play the Rockets in front of an impressive hometown crowd.  Jason Buma got the nod between the pipes in a must win game for the Rockets as they continue fight it out with The Cumberland Bandits and the Saint-Isidore Eagles for third place in the NCJHL.

The Rockets came out hard in the first period outshooting the Lions 19 to 4 but had nothing to show for the effort as the first period ended in a 0-0 deadlock.  Less then a minute into the second Shawn Simms (Justin Lefebvre, Bryden van Kessel 19:22) opened the scoring.  Former Rocket Bailey Norman (Thomas Oudekirk, Brian Landry 9:45) evened the score halfway through the period while Josh Barnes (unassisted 7:49) gave the Lions a quick lead shortly after.  The Rockets would tie the game on the powerplay at the 4 minute mark when Matt Cowley (Shawn Simms) buried a puck in a goal mouth scramble.  Morrisburg would win the period after Aaron Smith (Cal Bilmer 1:41) put the Lions up 3 to 2 heading into the final frame.

The third period was all Bryden van Kessel as the Rockets Captain appeared to be on a mission, recording a natural hat trick to propel his team to a 5-3 victory and a crucial two points.  Mckay Balaton and Justin Lefebvre draw the only two assists on the three goals while Jason Buma recorded his 18th win of the season.

As General Manager of the club, I can say that getting 3 of a possible 4 points this weekend was important.  I was happy with the effort, it was nice to see a full lineup for both games, and of course getting Bryden back for the weekend was obviously important; he’s been working up North for Hydro the past three games.  The officiating was excellent Friday night in Metcalfe, and all in all the weekend itself was a success.   We are looking forward to this up coming weekend as we host a pair of home games in Chesterville, the first on Saturday night at 7:30pm against the CLarence Castors, and the second on Sunday night at 7:30pm for a rematch with the Papineauville Vikings who thumped us last week 8 to 2 in their rink.

We appreciate all the support our team has been getting from the community; we can’t do this without you.

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