Inset photo (above) is retired Rockets captain Bryden van Kessel.
The Rockets’ Launch Pad
by Rob Sadler
North Dundas Rockets General Manager
The North Dundas Rockets will be hosting their home opener this up coming Saturday and are hoping that the tide will turn given the club’s 0 and 4 start to the season following a 6 to 2 loss in South Grenville this past Saturday night. As general Manager of the team there is no doubt I am disappointed in the slow start, that being said, with the exception of the loss this past Saturday we have out shot our first three opponents drastically, and have come out of the wrong end of three 1 goal losses. The lineup has been changing each game as our players are adjusting their school and work schedules to fit hockey in. All I can say about the awful start is that we will stay positive, keep working, there is not a doubt in my mind that we have the right team here to compete at the top of the league; we just have to get things sorted out.
This Saturday October 13th the Rockets will be hosting the Vankleek Hill Cougars in Chesterville and will be retiring the jersey of Former Rockets Captain Bryden van Kessel. A Chesterville native who played hockey in North Dundas, for the RSL Kings and Upper Canada Cyclones; he was eventually drafted by the Brockville Braves of the CCHL 1 junior A league in the 3rd round of the 2011 draft.
van Kessel would eventually settle in to play for the Winchester Hawks before returning home to the Rockets in 2016. While playing in Chesterville he won two National Capital League (NCJHL) most valuable player awards; two NCJHL top Defenseman awards and two defenceman leading scorer awards. He is also the Rockets all time leading scorer recording 150 pts (56 goals/94 assists/60 regular season games played. The playoffs were not different as he is also the all time playoff points leader with 56 points in 33 games played.
I can speak from personal experience from having coached Bryden both with the Hawks and with the Rockets, that I saw him really mature as a person and a leader once he took the reigns in Chesterville. Bryden was driving 9 hours each weekend to come home for playoff games during our run last year due to work, and as a organization we couldn’t be prouder with regards to ensuring he is the last player that will wear the number 24 for the Rockets. Every time Bryden was in the lineup for the Rockets I always felt like we had a chance to win; congratulations Bryden.