Rockets maintain division standing after split decision on road last weekend

Connor Roth celebrates after scoring his overtime goal last Friday night in Gatineau, notching a 6-5 win for the Rockets over the Volants. Courtesy photo by Vicky Tait.

North Dundas squad to suit up in Vanier Friday night (Jan. 17), then host Morrisburg Saturday night (Jan. 18) in Chesterville

The Rockets’ Launch Pad

by Rob Sadler
General Manager
North Dundas Rockets

The North Dundas Rockets were on the road for a pair of games last weekend in Gatineau against the Volants and in Vankleek Hill to play the Cougars, coming out with a split decision to hold their standing in the National Capital Junior Hockey League. Currently the Rockets are in second place in the Western Division trailing the South Grenville Ranger by five points and hold down the fourth spot in the NCJHL one point up on the St. Isidore Eagles.

Friday, January 11th, on the road at the Robert Guertin Arena the Rockets were in hostile territory to play the Volants where Simon Hupe (Zack Labbe 17:12) would post an early first period lead for Gatineau. Jarrett Williams (Dylan Robinson, Connor Roth 16:22) responded a minute later to tie the game following a brilliant no look pass from Dylan Robinson. The lead for the Rockets was a brief one after Maxime Tremblay (Ryan DesRuisseaux 15:34) scored on a breakaway following a Rockets defensive lapse in the offensive zone. Gatineau would exit the first period with a 3 to 1 lead after Des Ruisseaux (Unnassisted 12:44) got on the score sheet for the second time in the period.

The second period would see the Rockets cut the lead to one following a Brodie Barkley (Justin Lefebvre, Connor Roth 18:35) goal and finish with the Volants still on top 3 to 2 heading into the third.

Early in the final frame Zach Parent (Connor Roth 17:22) would tie the game at three before Hupe (Jeremy Cardinal 16:33) restored the Volants lead. Tremblay (unassisted 11:00) would then extend the lead to two before a 5 minute major penalty for Head Contact assessed to Volants Zack Labbe opened the door for a Rockets come back. Matt Cowley (Lefebvre, Roth 8:18 PP) got the ball rolling while Jarrett Williams (Lefebvre 3:51 PP) would complete to comeback and force overtime.

In overtime, with both sides getting opportunities to win, Rockets goaltender Reilly Tondreau caught everyone on the ice sleeping except Connor Roth when he ripped a pass to centre ice to hit Roth for a breakaway who would beat Volants goaltender Marc Olivier Bastien through the five hole for the win.

After winning 6-5 against Gatineau, the Rockets celebrate. Courtesy photo by Vicky Tait.

Saturday, January 12th North Dundas was on the road in Vankeek Hill for a show down with the Cougars. in a hard fought, short handed effort the Rockets ran out of fuel in a 3 to 2 loss. Scoring for the Rockets were Justin Lefebvre and Hugo Lusignan with Brodie Barkley, Matt Cowley, Zachary Parent and jack Vankessel all drawing helpers.

As General Manager of the organization I was proud of the effort our guys put in this weekend. We were missing 89pts out of the regular line up with Tom Fingler, Brad Stitt and Brad Nash all missing both games. That’s a lot of offense to be missing at the same time. The guys we had in the line up gave it everything they had and respected the process through hard work and effort; the unfortunate reality is that all we can control is the effort, and not the outcome. We were obviously real pleased with the come back win on Friday night and got big efforts out of everyone there.

The Club would also like to welcome a new addition from the Casselman Vikings, defenseman Tyler Ballantyne, a Williamsburg resident, will be joining our club on the back end for the rest of the season and fit in well. Tyler’s dad Jeff played for Ottawa 67s from 1986-1990 while Tyler played AAA hockey all the way up in the Kitchener Waterloo area before moving to Williamsburg.

It was also nice to see Zachary Parent score his first NCJHL goal against his hometown of Gatineau in a win for us which is a great story line in itself. As far as Saturday night goes we got a great game out of Reilly Tondreau who really backstopped a tired hockey team, a couple of goals out of the three allowed were flukes including one that went off Ryan Allen’s shoulder from a shot that was missing the net by 3 feet and those are the breaks sometimes. I felt we deserved more on Saturday night; but we did hurt ourselves a bit throughout the game with some bad retaliation penalties and also failed to capitalize on some opportunities late in the game; but it is what it is.

This up coming weekend the Rockets start on the road Friday night, January 17 against the Bytown Royals before coming home Saturday night, January 18th to host the Morrisburg Lions in a highway 31 show down.

See you at the rink!

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