The Rockets’ Launch Pad
by Rob Sadler
North Dundas Rockets General Manager
The North Dundas Rockets were firing on all cylinders this week as the organization hosted it’s first annual minor hockey development camp, the club’s annual golf tournament and it’s first pre-season game of the year.
The minor hockey camp ran from Monday, September 3rd to Friday, September 7th encompassing ages groups from novice to midget that saw more then a 115 kids participate and over a dozen Rockets players getting involved as well. As an organization we were absolutely thrilled with the turn out and the support. We hope that everyone who participated had a great time and got something out of it. The key focus for this camp was to get kids on the ice before their minor hockey seasons started in a positive way. It was great too be reminded that hockey is a game, and is supposed to fun; and kids sure do bring that out.
Saturday, September 8th at the Cedar Glen Golf Course in Williamsburg the club hosted its annual golf tournament when 76 golfers suited up and teed off. The Tournament foursomes included sponsors, former players and current players which was awesome to see. The winners this year, shooting -7 were Terry Barkley, Darren Kelly, Pete van Kessel Jr. and Darrel Shelp. Ladies longest drive and closest to the pin winner was Lisa Gordon while former Rockets Captain and teams 2nd all time scorer with 113 points Brandon Mullin took the men’s longest drive with Rob Thurler winning men’s closest to the pin.
Sunday, September 9th the Rockets hosted the Morrisburg Lions in Winchester for the first exhibition game of the pre-season which ended in a 5 to 5 tie. Jack van Kessel (Connor Roth, Brodie Barkley) opened the scoring at 16:40 of the first period on the power play and then followed up with another unassisted goal at 14:08. Kemptville Minor Hockey product Kage Hallet gave the Rockets a 3 to 0 lead at 11:49 of the first period on a play set up by Finch native Carter Tait and Mckay Balaton. Brandan Cameron of the Lions cut the Rockets lead to two at 7:52 rounding the first frame out at 3 to 1 for North Dundas
Marc Doyon (Andrew Biancardi) opened the second period scoring at 14:47 while NCJHL Rookie of the Year Justin Lefebvre (van Kessel, Matt Robinson 5:13) replied for the Rockets. Anthony Casserta (Andrew Biancardi, Brennan Revell 1:46) tied the game for Morrisburg heading into the third.
Will Watson (Brad Stitt, Matt Cowley 19:53) scored less then a minute into the period to put the Rockets up 5 to 4 until Andrew Biancardi finally tied game at 6:31 of the third. Despite opportunities on both sides the game ended in a tie.
The Rockets travel to Morrisburg Friday September 14 for an 8:15pm contest and then come back home to play the ByTown Royals on September 16th at 8pm in Winchester
See you at the rink!
The Rockets would like to thank our great sponsors Louis Restaurant and Winchester Foodland for keeping all of our instructors well feed during the week. We would also like to thank our coaching staff, past and present Rocket Junior Hockey players for giving up their time to help teach the Minor Hockey players some new skills. Without their commitment the camp would have not been possible. Thank you to Pete Forrester, the North Dundas Executive, David Lapier and Jason Broad of South Dundas Minor Hockey for their support and spreading the word about our camp.
The Rockets and Vice President Kent Young would like to thank ProSkills and Drills Clint Holmes, Warren Holmes and Todd Marcellus for all their support and encouragement. “I don’t think the camp would have been as successful without their endorsement and advice on how to organize and manage all the little things off and on the ice that people don’t see,” says Young.
We would like to thank the arena staff for doing a great job keeping the ice in good condition on those very hot days and keeping everything very clean.
Last but not least we would like to thank all the kids who came out and participated. We had an amazing turnout. I hope everyone had fun and was able to improve their skills for their up and coming season. We had kids from North Dundas, South Dundas, Russell, Metcalfe, NGS, Kemptville and Long Sault Minor hockey associations. Good Luck to all and we hope to see you next year.
You need alot of people and community groups to make an event like this successful. The North Dundas Junior Rockets Hockey Club are very appreciative and grateful to everyone who has helped us out along the way.