Final game goes ahead 7:30 p.m. in Gatineau
The Rockets’ Launch Pad
by Rob Sadler
North Dundas Rockets General Manager
The North Dundas Rockets and the Papineau Vikings are heading to game 7 in this year’s National Capital Junior Hockey League finals. In a hard fought weekend by both teams, the league’s 1st and 2nd regular season seeds have not disappointed in their efforts over the past two weeks.
Friday night, March 28th, 2018, game 4 was held in Chesterville where Joel Gagnon (Danny Plourde-Grenon 2:22 PP/OT) was the overtime hero for Papineau, scoring on a back door powerplay goal to even the series the 2 games apiece with a 5 to 4 win. The two teams were scoreless through the first period, while Jeremy Trudeau (Justin Labrosse, Jacob Osborne 13:05) broke the tie in the second period only to have the Rockets storm back a minute later when Tom Fingler (Chris Marchand 12:49) tied the game. The second would finish with the Vikings up 2 to 1 on a goal by Maxime Tremblay (Nicolas Loyer, Mathieu Lapoint 9:53).
The third period showcased Rockets goals by Justin Lefebvre (Brad Stitt 15:29 SH); and a pair from Connor Roth (Bryden Vankessel, Fingler 9:25 PP); (Fingler 2:48) which ties the game in the dying minutes. Hugo Lusignan (18:51) and Tremblay (13:15) scored the other two goal for Papineauville in the win.
Saturday, March 31st, 2018, Game 5 took place at the Branchaud Briere Arena located in Gatineau. It was status quo in the first period which ended scoreless for the second game in a row. The scoring opened in the second period when Shawn Simms (Bryden Vankessel 10:04 PP) put the Rockets up 1 to 0. Two minutes later Chris Marchand scored an unassisted goal from behind the net to create a 2 goal lead. As the period wound down the Vikings found the back of the net twice on goals from Jeremy Trudeau (Danny Grenon 2:40) and Joel Gagnon (Mathieu Lapoint 1:14).
Deadlocked at 2 heading into the final frame, Tom Fingler (Bryden van Kessel, Chris Marchand 15:37) and Bryden van Kessel (Justin Lefebvre 12:58) put the Rockets up 4 to 2 and sealed the win and a 3 to 2 series lead.
Sunday, April 1st, 2018 game 6 at the Chesterville Arena gave the Rockets an opportunity to win the NCJHL championship, a goal they fell short of with a 4 to 1 loss in front of the capacity crowd. After a scoreless first period, Jacob Osborne (Maxime Tremblay, Anthony Laprade 12:40) opened it up. the third period would see Papineauville score three more times including an empty net goal for a 4 to 1 win. The lone goal for the Rockets was scored by Brad Stitt (Shawn Simms, Justin Lefebvre 13:18).
As General Manager of the club I can speak for the entire organization when I say thank you to all of those who came out to support us this weekend at both home and away games. This has been a tremendous series between the leagues two best teams and it’s only fitting that game 7 will decide the outcome. I feel we missed an opportunity to close things out at home on Sunday, but the reality is that the Vikings are playing as hard as we are, and want to win just a badly. That’s playoff hockey.
Game 7 will be held Wednesday night; the rink location is yet to be determined, please check the Rockets Facebook page where the location will be posted ASAP.
See you at the rink!
Update: Game 7 goes ahead 7:30 p.m. at the Jean Paul Sabourin arena, 70 rue Jean-Proulx, Gatineau, Que.
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