The Rockets’ Launch Pad
by Rob Sadler
North Dundas Rockets General Manager
The North Dundas Rockets were scheduled for a twin bill at home this past weekend against the Clarence Castors and the Papineauville Vikings. They managed to get in one game on the Saturday night before the weather hit and forced a cancellation on Sunday. Presently the Rockets sit atop a three-way tie for 3rd place in the NCJHL with The Cumberland Bandits and the Saint Isidore Eagles, all sitting at 39 pts heading into the final weekend of the regular season.
Saturday night the team played host to the Clarence Castors where they suffered a 6 to 4 loss in what was a crucial opportunity to separate themselves from the logjam. The Rockets seemed to be in full control throughout the first period, building a 3 to 1 lead on goals by Aaron Turcotte (Mckay Balaton, Jace Legue 15:06); Justin Lefebvre (Jack van Kessel, Shawn Simms 7:19); and Shawn Simms (Justin Lefbvre, Jack van Kessel 0:59). Patrick Lemay (Connor Lacey, Matt Wilson 11:35) tallied the lone first period marker for the Castors.
The second period would take a turn for the worst at the 17:00 minute mark when the Rockets were assessed a well deserved 5 minute major for checking from behind. Eight seconds into the power play Conner Lacey (Matt Wilson, Matt Clement 16:52) potted his first of two power play goals for the Castors, Matt Clement would draw an assist on Lacey’s second, and game-tying goal. Connor Jones (Patrick Lemay, Matt Clement 8:29) gave Clarence their first lead before Connor Roth (Brad Stitt 4:36) would tie the game up for the Rockets heading into the final twenty minutes.
In the third period Jeff Brett would score a pair of goals to seal the win at 7:53 and 3:21 with assists going to Connor Lacey and Matt Clifford. The end result was a 6 to 4 loss being handed to the hometown Rockets.
As General Manager I was happy with the effort our guys gave as a whole on Saturday night; they never quit. It’s unfortunate that we had to cripple our chances to win that game with a couple of poor decisions that are solely on us as a team. When you go into a game shorthanded, every body lost puts pressure on the rest of the team. We had one guy thrown out of the game at the end of the first period; and then the 5 minute major was obviously the turning point in the game, something I hope that player will learn from as we head into the playoffs. We also had a hard time finding the back of the net; in reality if we buried half our opportunities we could have won that game in spite of our mistakes.
Next Weekend we host the two biggest games of the year, Saturday night at Home against Cumberland, and on Sunday we travel to Saint Isidore, but teams that we are fighting with for position. The puck drops Saturday night in Chesterville at 7:30 p.m.
See you at the rink.