CHESTERVILLE – The North Dundas Rockets (18-7-0) dropped an exciting overtime contest to the Gatineau-Hull Volant (19-8-0) Sat., Jan. 20.
The second place Volant are currently the team the third place Rockets are chasing in the National Capital Junior Hockey League (NCJHL) standings, trailing by two points. Despite the loss, the Rockets have a solid record of eight wins and two losses since the second-half of the season got underway.
Volant 5 – Rockets 4 (OT)
After falling behind by a goal less than a minute into the game, Jace Legue evened the score for the Rockets at 10:56 of the first period. Shawn Simms and Justin Lefebvre had the assists.
Gatineau-Hull jumped out to a 3-1 lead before the halfway point of the middle frame arrived, getting goals from Pascal Vachon and Jeremie Perrault.
Lefebvre brought North Dundas within one goal before the second period buzzer sounded. Simms and Connor Roth tallied assists on the Lefebvre goal.
Midway through the final period, Dennis Gratton beat Rockets’ goalie Jason Buma to double the Volant’s lead.
The Rockets pulled off a late rally to send the game to overtime, getting goals from Bryden van Kessel and Legue.
The extra period saw plenty of chances to win for North Dundas, but they were consistently shutdown by the Volant’s goalie.
Antoine Lafleche found the back of the Rockets’ net with 1:20 remaining in overtime to seal the win.
Rockets 11 –Rangers 5
The Rockets rallied from their loss the previous night to blowout the South Grenville Rangers 11-5 Sun., Jan. 21 in Cardinal.
The Rockets had five different players find the back of the net including Simms (two goals), Landon Veenstra (two goals), Roth (two goals), Brodie Barkley, Tom Fingler and Nick Sourges. Matthew Cowley and Roth were both in on seven goals combined. Cowley chipped in four assists and Roth added three.
With the standings in the NCJHL so close, Rockets’ general manger Rob Sadler would’ve liked to have seen the Rockets knock-off the Volant in Chesterville.
“I can’t help but say I was disappointed with the loss at home on Saturday night,” he said. “We had a good chance to pull ahead of Gatineau for second place this weekend. Instead we continue to trail by two points with Cumberland and St. Isidore right behind us.”
Sadler pointed to the team’s slow start not helping their cause against the Volant.
“To put it bluntly, our team came out flat and didn’t find its legs until late in the third period,” he said. “When a top place team like Gatineau comes to the barn, you need to be ready to play from the start.”
On a more positive note, Sadler wanted to congratulate the Rockets for an accomplishment that hasn’t been done in the team’s history.
After Sunday’s win in Cardinal, the Rockets reached 36 points with eight games remaining, the highest point total North Dundas has ever attained.
Cumberland @ North Dundas (Sat., Jan. 27, 7:30 pm)