CHESTERVILLE – Paced by Tom Fingler’s six-goal, seven-point effort the North Dundas Rockets snapped their three-game losing string by upending both the National Capital Junior Hockey League’s top team, the Gatineau-Hull Volant, 8-2 and the South Grenville Rangers 8-4.
Fingler recently returned to his home in Winchester and signed on with the Rockets. His contribution was significant, to say the least with a two-game performance that included the GWG against the Volant Friday (Nov. 24) in Chesterville and a pair of PPGs in Sunday’s (Nov. 26) win over the Rangers in Prescott.
“I’m glad Fingler has returned and has made an immediate impact,” said Rockets’ GM Robyn Sadler. “When a player like him gets dropped into the lineup the team is getting a guy that knows how to play hockey the ‘right way;’ and that’s the full 200-feet of the rink.”
North Dundas’ two wins improved their fourth-place record to 10-5-0 and left them with 20 points, one less than the Cumberland Bandits (10-5-1). Gatineau-Hull (13-4-0) has 26 points and the Papineau Vikings (12-3-0) 24.
This weekend, the Rockets travel to Vanier to take on the Bytown Royals (1-13-0) on Friday (Dec. 1) before hosting the Morrisburg Lions (4-10-1) Saturday (Dec. 2) at 7:30 pm.
The Rockets will face the Meyrin Switzerland Junior Hockey Club in a special exhibition game at the Chesterville Arena on Fri., Dec. 29 at 7:30 pm.
Sadler reported the Rockets got off to a strong start against the Volant using a strong forecheck by Brad Stitt, Landon Veenstra and Fingler. North Dundas established a 6-0 advantage midway in the third period and rolled on to the 8-2 decision.
Fingler (GWG, 3-0-0), Justin Lefebvre (2-1-3), Connor Roth (1-1-2), Bryden van Kessel (1-1-2) and Brodie Barkley (PPG, 1-0-1) pegged the Rockets’ markers. Nick Sourges (2), Veenstra (2), Jack van Kessel, Stitt, Shawn Simms, Chris Marchand, and Ryan Carbonette earned the helper points. Jason Buma posted the win.
“I can’t remember the Rockets ever having such a complete regular season win,” explained the GM. “We worked hard from the start, the forecheck was great, the backcheck was there and we buried our chances.”
Rockets 8 – Rangers 4
North Dundas got off to a slow start against the Rangers Sunday afternoon in Prescott falling behind 4-1 early in the second period.
Simms (Bryden van Kessel at 15:36) netted the Rockets first goal. Fingler then knotted the count 4-4 fashioning the natural hat trick in a span of seven minutes. Veenstra (2), Stitt and Tanner Barnett engineered the three-goal outburst.
Veenstra (GWG, Barkley at 16:32) opened the final frame. Shots fired by Lefebvre (2), and Stitt completed the scoring. Bryden van Kessel (2), Fingler and Simms provided the passes. Buma posted another ‘W’.
North Dundas suffered a huge loss during the match when Chris Marchand absorbed a blindside hit to the head, which resulted in a dislocated and broken jaw. The injury will keep him out of action until the new year.
“As an organization we were impressed with the club’s effort and it was great to see the offence come back to life outscoring our opponents 16-6,” added Sadler.